MUMBAI: Some of the satellite towns in the thickly populated Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) have unusually high positivity rates for Covid-19. As of Friday, the positivity rate for Bhiwandi-Nizampura stood at 49%, meaning one in every two persons tested for the infection has come positive. This is nearly three times the state’s average of 18%.
Similarly, the positivity rate in Mira-Bhayander is 36% and Kalyan-Dombivli 33%. The rates for both are nearly double the state’s average. The positivity rates for the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation and the Panvel City Municipal Corporation are 31% and 30%. Thane, which has been rapidly adding 350 cases on an average daily, has a positivity of 18%, while Mumbai, where the situation appears to be stabilising, is 23%. TOI had previously reported how most of the corporations in MMR have failed to scale up their testing and barely managed to test even 0.5% of their populations. Officially, there are eight government labs with a capacity of 2,855 tests per day and eight private labs with a capacity of 8,000 to cater to MMR.
Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray held a meeting with the local administration of Thane district to review Covid spread in the area. He has directed the administration to strengthen the tracking mechanism in the district. In yet another letter to the CM, leader of the opposition Devendra Fadnavis said the increasing numbers of cases and deaths in MMR is a cause for worry.
As per the health department, about 3,250 Covid tests were carried out in Bhiwandi city, of which 49% (1,588) came positive; there are 94 deaths. The area’s population is 12 lakh. Dr Pankaj Ashiya, the newly appointed commissioner of Bhiwandi-Nizampura City Municipal Corporation said, “The testing numbers could be high because many of the private labs have not reported about patients who have tested negative. We have already written to them and in a few days the exact number of tests will be updated.”
In Kalyan-Dombivli, civic body data shows 14,783 tests, of which 4,873 have come positive (33%).
(Inputs by Clara Lewis & Umesh Parida)