Weekly Covid positivity rate drops below 5 percent in Maharashtra.
FOR the first time since the second wave of Covid-19 began, Maharashtra’s weekly positivity rate has fallen below five percent, according to a new report presented to the state cabinet on Wednesday. However, health authorities are now on the alert with the detection of the Delta Plus variant of SARS-CoV2 in Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Jalgaon, Thane, and Mumbai. Whether this variant will weaken or remain will only be understood after the results of the next genome sequencing cycle are published in the first week of July.
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The state, in the week of June 16 to 22, reported a positivity rate of 4.54% compared to 8.47% in the week of May 26 to June 1. While Kolhapur, Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sangli, Satara, Sindhudurg, and Pune districts have all shown declines in infections, the weekly positivity rate remains above the state average. As of June 21, there were 1.24 lakhs of active cases in Maharashtra.
Kolhapur’s weekly positivity rate has fallen to 10.88 percent (June 16-22) from 16.04 percent (May 26-June 1). Likewise, in Raigad, the weekly positivity rate has fallen from 18.59% to 9.35%, from 17.32% to 7.97% in Ratnagiri, from 16.10% to 7.66% in Sangli, and from 16.73% to 7.52% in Satara. . The weekly positivity rate in Pune is 7.38 percent.
State watchdog Dr. Pradeep Awate told The Indian Express that this was the first time during the second spike that the weekly positivity rate had dropped below 5 percent. “During the peak, the positivity rate was over 25 percent, and now we are on the downward path. Therefore, the naturally vulnerable population has been reduced, ”said Dr. Awate.
However, he noted that genomic sequencing is important for identifying new SARS-CoV-2 variants. “Following the detection of 21 cases of the Delta Plus variant, we have issued guidelines to concerned districts on containment measures, aggressive screening of those in contact with index cases, vaccination status of those individuals, and advance infections. The samples will be submitted for further genomic sequencing, we are also looking for reinfection cases and the clinical profile of Delta plus cases so that we can understand if it is more virulent than the current strain, ”said Dr. Awate.
The state directorate for medical education and research has partnered with the CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) for genome sequencing of samples from 36 districts over a three-month period. The BJ Medical College in Pune is the central coordinating laboratory and in May, more than 3,000 samples collected from all districts were submitted to CSIR-IGIB for genome sequencing. Another 3,000 samples will be sent at the end of June for the next sequencing cycle, the results of which will be published in the first week of July. Authorities said this exercise would help them understand whether it was an isolated episode.