January 22, 2022

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Fewer tests lead to lower caseload, positivity rate down by one per cent

Fewer tests lead to lower caseload, positivity rate down by one per cent


Mumbai After recording around 20,000 Covid cases for four days in a row, Mumbai witnessed a fall on Monday at 13,648 due to the fewer tests conducted in the city.

In the past 24 hours, 59,242 tests were conducted against an average of 70,000 tests earlier last week. The test positivity rate (TPR) fell by one per cent as Monday recorded 23.03 per cent TPR. Five deaths were reported on Monday taking the toll to 16,411, while the overall case tally reached 9,28,220.

Meanwhile, both experts and senior officials of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said that the ongoing week will play a key role to determine the further course of action.

Suresh Kakani, the additional municipal commissioner and in charge of public health in the BMC, said that with nearly 60,000 tests conducted in the last 24 hours, the Covid graph has started to show a downward trend.

“An adequate number of tests were done in the last 24 hours, which showed a decreased positivity rate. But we are not getting carried away because we need to be sure first whether this downward trend is just a one-day phenomenon or the numbers have seriously started to decline. Also, the rate of hospitalisation is something that we are concerned about and we need to see if the bed occupancy level rises throughout this week,” said Kakani.

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Dr Shashank Joshi, a member of the Maharashtra Covid task force, said that the number of actual cases in Mumbai could be higher than the reported figures as many citizens are taking the rapid antigen test at their home and getting themselves treated privately.

“While the numbers suggest that we are inching towards a plateau, we also have to consider that the laboratories in Mumbai are overwhelmed with the samples and have already reached a saturation level. Instead of focusing on the numbers, we will have to concentrate on other key factors like bed occupancy, doubling rate and patients that require oxygen and ventilation for treatment,” said Dr Joshi.

Dr Rahul Pandit, a member of the national and state Covid task force, said that it’s quite normal to record a lower number of infections on Mondays because usually fewer tests are conducted on Sundays.

According to the BMC, Mumbai has a capacity of conducting one lakh tests per day and laboratory experts have said that they are in the process of scaling up the resources.

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“At present, we are conducting 10,000 to 15,000 tests per day and at the same time, we are working towards ramping up our resources so that we can do at least 50,000 tests per day,” said Chandrashekhar Mani, vice-president (Technology) of Thyrocare laboratories.

Kakani also mentioned that the BMC is monitoring all the laboratories closely and it will send notices to the ones that fail to produce reports within 24 hours.

“Mumbai has a capacity to conduct one lakh RT-PCR tests regularly. If we take antigen tests, the numbers can go higher, but we are only sticking with RT-PCR for accuracy. We have already told the laboratories to expedite their resources so that the daily test figures can also be expedited this week,” Kakani said.

Besides this, 27,214 patients were discharged on Monday and the recovery rate of the state stood at 87 per cent.

Doonited Affiliated: Syndicate News Hunt

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