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Weekly Covid positivity rate remains above 20 pc in 22 districts in Maharashtra

Although the seven-day Covid-19 positivity rate has dropped to 13.2% in Mumbai, at least 22 districts have seen weekly positivity rate cross 20 per cent, raising concerns of spread of the virus across the state. The only silver lining is that more than 90 per cent of the patients are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic.

After recording the peak of 20,971 cases on January 7, the daily cases in Mumbai have gradually dropped to 2,550 on January 23. While the flattening of the pandemic curve in Mumbai has seen the seven-day positivity rate come down to 13.2%, the virus has been spreading across the state.

According to the data provided by the public health department, in the week ending January 22, the seven-day positivity rate of Maharashtra surged to 23.9%, which was 22.9% in the week ending January 16.

While Pune has been the biggest contributor to the state’s tally with the maximum number of daily cases and a positivity rate of 42.8% — the highest in Maharashtra, Nashik (40.6%), Wardha (36.9%), Akola (35.3%), Nagpur (35.2%) and Gadchiroli (33.8%) too have been big contributors. Many rural districts like Nanded, Sangli, Washim, Yavatmal have also witnessed a seven-day positivity rate above 20%.

“The cases may surge further next week. But only 3.5% of the active patients are requiring hospitalisation, the remaining are home quarantined,” said Dr Pradip Awate, state surveillance officer.

To avoid the severity of infection among patients, the state is boosting up vaccination in rural districts. There are around 22 districts in the state that are lagging behind the state’s average of 90% first dose and 65% coverage of second dose among the eligible population. These districts have been given the target to reach the state’s average in the next 15 days.

“Since the start of the mass immunisation programme, Nandurbar and Beed have been at the bottom of the list. But with vaccine sensitisation and door-to-door vaccination, there has been improvement,” said Dr Sachin Desai, state immunisation officer.

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