Mumbai Maharashtra reported 43,211 fresh Covid-19 cases, taking the state’s active tally to 2,61,658. Maharashtra has been reporting over 40,000 fresh cases daily for the past three days. Mumbai on Friday reported 11,317 fresh infections, while the city’s active case count was at 84,352.

In the past seven days, the state has recorded daily cases between 46,700 and 33,400 cases. In the last three days alone, the cases hovered between 46,000 and 43,000, while the daily tests have ranged between 2,16,970 and 2,04,531. Though the cases seem to be stabilising, health department officials and experts said that the state is yet to peak in the third wave. Health department officials estimated that the state’s peak could come in the next week or the last week of January.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra reported 238 new cases of Omicron variant, taking the total tally to 1,605. Out of these, 859 were discharged following a negative RT-PCR test. Of the new cases reported on Friday, 197 were from Pune city, 32 from Pimpri-Chinchwad, three each from Pune rural and Navi Mumbai, two from Mumbai, and one from Akola.

The state’s chunk of the fresh Covid cases continued to come from Mumbai, Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), and Pune district. Of the total cases recorded on Friday, 50.99% came from Mumbai and MMR. While 10,047 cases or 23.25% of the total cases came from Pune districts, which has Pune city, Pune rural and Pimpri-Chinchwad. The remaining 11,127 cases reported or 25.76% came from the rest of Maharashtra.

In the past 24 hours, the state tested 2,04,531 samples and had a positivity rate of 21.12%. Health department officials said that the administrations have been directed to follow the testing advisory issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) earlier this week. It stated that only at-risk contacts, which are over age 60, of confirmed cases, must be tested along with only symptomatic individuals.

In the past three days, the daily positivity rate was 21.87% (January 12), 21.38% (January 13) and 21.12% (on January 14). On January 10 and 11, it was 19.25% and 16.38%, respectively. The jump, officials said, was due to targeted testing.

“The targetted testing does lead to an increase when the viral activity is this high. The number of tests may reduce, as we are following Centre’s guidelines on testing, but it will not affect our surveillance,” said a senior health department official who did not wish to be named.

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