While official data put weekly figure at 16 per cent, official says a number of cases going unreported as more people are opting for self-testing
Beneficiaries get vaccinated against Covid-19 at BYL Nair Hospital. Pic/Ashish Raje
Mumbai is currently the top contributor to the state’s daily COVID-19 tally with a weekly positivity rate of 16 per cent, which is the highest among the districts. However, the additional chief secretary of the state said that the positivity rate of Mumbai is even more at around 30 percent, as many of the people tend to go for home testing and do not report the results.
Additional Chief Secretary Dr Pradeep Vyas said, “A few days ago, there were 200 to 300 patients in the state every day. Now there are 4,000 patients every day with an increase of 36 per cent. And 90 per cent of these patients are from Mumbai, Pune, Thane, Raigad, and Palghar districts. At present, there are 25,000 active patients of whom 22 are on ventilator support.” There are 81,000 active patients in the country, of which 25,000 are from Maharashtra alone.
According to a weekly report released by the state health department, the state’s overall positivity rate has jumped to 10.64 per cent from 4.71 per cent in the past two weeks. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region, which includes Palghar and Thane too, is the major contributor. Of the 26,344 cases reported across the state between June 15 and 21, Mumbai reported a whopping 14,146 cases, Thane 6,183 cases and Palghar reported 757 new COVID cases.
Vyas added, “The positivity rate in Mumbai is almost in the range of 30 per cent as many who do self-testing do not report positive results. However, reported positivity hovers around 16 per cent.” A state health official said, “MMR is reporting more COVID cases as compared to other parts of the state. This means people in MMR need to behave more responsibly as once the cases go up the mortality rate will also go up. Vaccination must be done on priority.”
‘New variant is mild’
The majority of patients infected by Omicron’s sub-variant BA.2 and its offspring BA.2.38 did not require hospitalisation, and the illness was mild and self-limiting, a clinical study has revealed. The B J Medical College conducted a study on 116 patients infected with BA.2.38.
Dr Rajesh Karyekarte, author of the study, told mid-day, “During the analysis, we found that BA.2 is common, but its offspring BA.2.38 is also prevalent and has a similar impact on the health of patients. The symptoms in the patient were the same.” He added, “The Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (Insacog) told us to conduct a study and we have done it. We also submitted the report to the government and Insacog.”
“The majority of these patients had experienced mild symptoms, while only one person required oxygen support, and one was brought dead. The majority of the patients did not require admission to a hospital or any specific treatment. We concluded that the symptoms of illness (caused by BA.2.38) were akin to BA.2 and no other symptoms were found,” he added.
No. of cases reported in Mumbai from June 15 to 21