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Covid positivity rate falls in Pune district; new cases may decline in 10-15 days, say experts

“Reduction in new infections has already started but hospitalisations will reduce after 10-15 days,” Dr Dhananjay Kelkar, medical director of Deenanath Mangeskhar Hospital, told The Indian Express.

The weekly Covid positivity rate in Pune district has come down by over 3 per cent — from 26.6 per cent in the week of April 15-21 to 23.3 percent in the week of April 22-28. Experts say that according to the trend, the number of fresh cases usually see a decline 10 to 15 days after the positivity rate drops.

“Reduction in new infections has already started but hospitalisations will reduce after 10-15 days,” Dr Dhananjay Kelkar, medical director of Deenanath Mangeskhar Hospital, told The Indian Express.

The lockdown-like restrictions has helped in bringing down the positivity rate as it slows the transmissibility of the disease, said Dr Kelkar. He also said that eventually, when a third wave of coronavirus infections arrives, at least the health infrastructure in the district will not be overwhelmed.

A further breakdown of the district numbers shows that the positivity rate in Pune city was 24.1 per cent in the week of April 15 to 21, which has now come down to 19.9 per cent in the week of April 22 to 28, while in Pimpri-Chinchwad the positivity rate in the week of April 15-21 was at 25.4 per cent, which is down to 22.7 per cent in the week of April 22-28. In Pune Rural, the weekly positivity rate was 32.9 per cent in the week of April 15 to 21, which fell to 31.5 per cent in the week of April 22-28.

From March last year till April 28 this year, there have been a total of 8.17 lakh Covid-19 cases in Pune district. The district has seen 12,762 deaths due to the infection so far.

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As of April 28, Pune district has as many as 15,636 critical patients, of which 4,557 are in the intensive care unit and among these, 1,407 are on ventilator support. There are another 11,079 Covid positive patients on oxygen support. According to reports across 638 healthcare facilities (including dedicated Covid hospitals and healthcare centres), there are a total of 4,668 ICU beds, of which 1,518 are beds with ventilators in Pune district. There are 12,220 oxygen-supported beds in Pune district.

Dr Sanjay Lalwani, medical director of Bharati Hospital, said that among those who get infected, it takes usually a week or so for some to get critical and hence the demand for ICU beds and ventilators has been more or less the same.

“Due to the lockdown restriction measures, by May 15, we assume the infectivity will come down. Still, unlike last year’s lockdown which was able to achieve the plateau effect, it will take some time during this second wave to achieve that impact due to nature of restrictive measures, as a certain number of people are still out in the morning hours,” he said.

The case fatality rate (CFR) in Pune district is now at 1.5 per cent. According to WHO, CFR is a measure of severity of a disease and is defined as the proportion of reported cases of a specified disease or condition which are fatal within a specified time. With proper and timely treatment, the CFR should remain below 1 per cent.

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