War against Covid: Mumbai still far behind in contact tracing

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Published: June 18, 2020 12:40 AM

UP, it appears, was contact tracing 57 people per positive contact. Mumbai, on the other hand, was contact tracing 19 people per positive contact, according to data from June 14.

An ICMR study, released a few weeks ago on the status of contact tracing, shows that UP was tracing 32 people, as against 7.6 in MaharashtraAn ICMR study, released a few weeks ago on the status of contact tracing, shows that UP was tracing 32 people, as against 7.6 in Maharashtra. (Representative image)

Mumbai, whose population is less than one-tenth of that of Uttar Pradesh, has reported more cases and has done 10 times more tests. But, an analysis of data shows that Uttar Pradesh trumps Mumbai so far as contact tracing is concerned — UP seems to be doing three times more contact tracing compared to Mumbai.

Data released by UP for June 13 show that the state contact traced 7,43,281 people till date. Given that the state has 13,118 corona-positive patients, UP, it appears, was contact tracing 57 people per positive contact. Mumbai, on the other hand, was contact tracing 19 people per positive contact, according to data from June 14.

But, the difference between the two states is that Mumbai’s contact tracing numbers seem to have stayed the same, whereas UP has been slowing down on contact tracing. On April 30, for instance, UP had contact traced 103 people per positive person. Mumbai, at the time, was still doing 19. The number for UP fell to 70 about a fortnight ago.

An ICMR study, released a few weeks ago on the status of contact tracing, shows that UP was tracing 32 people, as against 7.6 in Maharashtra. Furthermore, an internal report from Maharashtra for April 24 had highlighted that the state was tracing contacts in only 50% of the cases.

Mumbai has a better record so far as surveying is concerned. Data show that it has been able to survey nearly half of its population. As per June 15 records, it had surveyed 85.5 lakh people and 3.6 lakh senior citizens. UP, on the other hand, has only surveyed one-fifth of its population.

While Bloomberg reports indicate that the municipal corporation is engaged in door-to-door screening for places like Dharavi, Mumbai will need to do more contact tracing if it is to stop the spread of the virus.

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