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Friday, August 19, 2022

Covid surge on decline in Delhi as test positivity rate remains under 6%

The test positivity rate stood at an average 7.3 per cent during the second half of June, with it reaching 10.09 per cent on one occasion.

A health worker collects a swab sample for Covid-19 test. (File)

Even though over 1,000 new Covid-19 cases were reported in Delhi on Wednesday, the surge might still be on the decline, suggests the test positivity rate of 5.8 per cent. The positivity rate – proportion of samples tested that returns positive – stood at an average 7.3 per cent during the second half of June, with it reaching 10.09 per cent on one occasion.

To compare, the daily positivity rate stood at 30.6 per cent at the peak of the third wave and at 36.2 per cent during the devastating second wave. At these peaks around 70,000 tests were being conducted each day and around 18,000 tests on average were being conducted in Delhi each day in the second half of June.

The numbers, as well as the positivity rate, has been lower during the two small surges seen in April and June due to the fluctuating but low number of tests being conducted. Additionally, with the at-home kits having been introduced during the third wave seen in January, most people are not opting to use it and these numbers do not reflect in the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) portal and consequently in the number of cases reported by the government.

The union health secretary and NITI Aayog member (health) Dr VK Paul in a meeting on Tuesday with 14 states where the case burden is high currently said that the testing numbers were low across the country. The states were asked to strategically test people coming to fever clinics or reporting symptoms of influenza-like illness and severe acute respiratory infections instead of a wide, thin layer of testing across the population.

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Just like the third wave, there was no proportional increase in hospitalisations or deaths. Around 233 people have been in hospitals at a given time during the second half of June with the infection, but city doctors say in most of them the infection was an incidental finding.

With Covid-19 cases more or less stabilising in the country, the health ministry has now asked states to include Covid-19 surveillance as part of routine surveillance along with that for other infectious diseases.

First published on: 30-06-2022 at 11:32:28 am
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