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Mumbai is probably past the COVID-19 pandemic, says Shashank Joshi of Lilavati Hospital

Updated : July 20, 2020 12:06 PM IST

Mumbai is possibly past the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the focus should now be on bringing the death rate down as the city has a higher percentage of the elderly population and people with co-morbidity, said Shashank Joshi, endocrinologist and diabetologist at Lilavati Hospital. Joshi is also a member of Maharashtra's task force on COVID.

“We have opened a testing policy, we have gone beyond the ICMR-mandated symptom-based testing and contact-tracing to asymptomatic cases. Any human being can go to a lab without a medical prescription and test. This is the first city in India which has an open testing policy where any test can be done with or without symptoms. We definitely need to do aggressive testing and isolation but probably Mumbai has passed the pandemic," said Joshi in a conversation with CNBC-TV18.

He said the authorities are aiming at getting the mortality rate below 1 percent. "Mumbai has a higher burden of co-morbidity conditions and elder population compared to rest of the country. Mortality needs to come down and definitely our target is to get it below 1 percent and the only way we can get it down is by early detection," added Joshi.

Thyrocare's CMD and CEO A Velumani tweeted last week that 15 percent of the population was carrying antibodies at the start of the third quarter and he expects this to go up to 40 percent in the coming quarters.

Talking about the findings, Velumani said, “In the western world, the death rate per million is very high. In India, the death rate per million is very low. The virus exposure will not vary in any country, so it is good luck for India. For every death, approximately 10,000 got exposed and all these 10,000 have developed the antibody. So it is so heartening to see when we have nothing to rely on."
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