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Is Third Wave Curve Flattening in Mumbai? Covid Task Force Doctor Explains What Dip in Cases Means

With Mumbai reporting a dip in Covid-19 cases on Tuesday for the fourth successive day, and the test positivity rate falling to 18.7 per cent from 28 per cent on Monday, experts argued if this is a sign of the flattening of the curve in the city.

According to Dr Shashank Joshi, member of the Maharashtra Covid Task Force, going by the numbers the city is reporting, Mumbai may have crossed its peak and the Covid-19 wave could be flattening soon. “Yesterday’s numbers were clearly showing a positivity rate of around 25 per cent. We are expecting those numbers to drop further,” he said.

“In the last three to four days, we have observed a trend that suggests that the number of cases could be flattening for three reasons: One, a lot of people are now at home and they are self-isolating and not testing. Second, a lot of people are self-testing and not reporting and third, we don’t know the true numbers that are being reported. Having said this, the true yardstick of this tsunami-like third wave is going to be the people who are getting admitted to the hospitals due to Covid-19, not with Covid-19 – there is a difference between the two,” he added.

Dr Joshi pointed out that the number of people who need oxygen and ventilators in the third wave is quite low compared to the number during the delta wave in April.

One thing that is reassuring, he said, is that the cases, instead of exponentially rising, they are on a decline. “The reasons for this could be multiple but this is a sign of the flattening of the curve and it is very reassuring. We may be following the South African pattern. There, too, a similar trend was seen – the wave came very fast and came down also equally rapidly.”

“We have not observed a trend like this in Mumbai earlier. But this time, the numbers are a little different. However, in two-three days it is very difficult to predict. We will have a clearer picture after a week. But for now, it is a reassuring sign, not just for Mumbai but for Maharashtra and also India in general,” Dr Joshi said.

And has Mumbai crossed its peak? Dr Joshi said that the answer to this question is a difficult one. “We don’t know. We may be peaking now of tis may just be a lull before the storm. We will not know this before the next two weeks,” he said.

According to BMC’s bulletin on Tuesday, the Covid-19 tally jumped to 9,39,867, while the death toll climbed to 16,413.The metropolis has reported 2,001 fewer cases as compared to Monday despite 2,855 more COVID-19 tests carried out in the last 24 hours.

A day before, Mumbai had reported 13,648 COVID-19 cases on the back of 59,342 tests and five fatalities.The coronavirus positivity rate in the financial capital also dipped to 18.75 per cent from over 23 per cent a day ago.

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