COVID positivity rate increased in Pune during lockdown, shows PMC data

This spike comes reportedly during a period when the PMC had increased swab testing

The PMC had insisted that it will use the lockdown period for 100 per cent contact tracing and 100 per cent testing. File photo: PTI

The positivity rate for COVID-19 in Maharashtra’s Pune increased during the lockdown from 17.11 per cent on July 12 to 19.03 per cent on July 22, according to data given by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).

When the lockdown ended, the positivity rate stood at 19.18 percent on July 23.

This spike comes reportedly during a period when the PMC had increased swab testing.

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The PMC had insisted that it will use the lockdown period for 100 per cent contact tracing and 100 per cent testing. However, the average contact tracing during this period is 10.79 per cent, indicating that 100 per cent testing could not achieved.

At the same time, the doubling rate of positive cases has reduced from 19.71 per cent on July 12 to 14.46 per cent on July 22.

The 10-day lockdown enforced in the city from July 13 to 23 ended on Thursday with Pune returning back to pre-lockdown (June 12) conditions.

Hindustan Times quoted Pune district collector Naval Kishore Ram as saying, “The lockdown has helped us in certain ways, the recovery rate of Pune has increased and it is at top in the country. The current recovery rate of Pune is close to 64 per cent. We all are working to bring down the number of positive cases and through public support I am sure that it will come down.”

During the second phase of the latest lockdown, the PMC offered a few relaxations, with grocery and vegetable shops being allowed to function.

Dr Bharat Purandare, infectious disease physician from Deenanath Mangeshkhar told Hindustan Times, “If the positivity rate is increasing of the city which means the infection is getting more intense and there is no need to worry about it. It is good as the herd immunity will come when the positive cases will reach to a certain number and bad news is that some of them will die from these infected people. The positivity rate of Italy and other European countries was around 60 per cent couple of months back.

“Fortunately, in India and more specifically in Pune, the rate is still low, maybe due to our geographical conditions, we have more population from the youth category and our immunity power is more. The positivity rate will increase geometrically and when a significant portion of population is infected then herd immunity comes in and the pandemic comes down,” he explained, according to Hindustan Times.

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