Mumbai on Tuesday evening reported 2,554 new Covid cases in the previous 24 hours. These are the lowest daily numbers for over five weeks. The city also reported 62 deaths linked to the virus.
However, only 29,076 coronavirus tests were conducted over 24 hours, leading to some concern that the number of new cases reported every day may, in fact, be higher.
Mumbai’s testing peaked at around 56,000 per day in April; on average city officials conducted around 44,000 tests per day last month. Over the past few days that number has dropped to below 30,000; on Sunday fewer than 28,000 Covid tests were carried out in a 24-hour period.
“… testing touched 56,000 a day last month. Average daily testing in April was nearly 44,000 per day. We need to increase testing (now) to 40,000 per day at least…” Iqbal Singh Chahal, the municipal commissioner, told news agency PTI on Sunday.
Mr Chahal had urged people to come forward and get themselves tested, and cautioned that these numbers could not be allowed to fall during the weekends.
Mumbai’s positivity rate – the percentage of Covid tests returning a positive result – has dropped to 8.78 per cent; this was around 10 per cent last week.
The doubling rate – the number of days to double the caseload – has increased to 116.
Mumbai, like parts of Maharashtra and other areas in the country, has been hit hard by the second Covid wave, which has put immense pressure on healthcare systems.
The good news, though, is that Mumbai is among 15 districts to show a downward trend in cases.
The city has also opened Maharashtra’s first drive-in vaccination centre, as the state government scrambles to inoculate as many people as quickly as possible. The drive-in centre is located at the Kohinoor public parking centre in Dadar West, and can vaccinate around 200 people in a day.
Vaccine shortage continues to be problem, though, with vaccination at three other centres stopped last week due to a lack of doses.
On Tuesday evening, Health Minister Rajesh Tope said around 18.5 lakh doses – 13.58 lakh of Covishield and 4.89 lakh of Covaxin – had been ordered for people in the 18-44 age group.
With input from PTI