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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

In rough month for Gurgaon, silver lining: Second half saw dip in cases

“As of June 20, our recovery rate was 55.9%. It jumped to 73.8% by Monday, which is definitely a good sign. Testing capacity has also increased, and the positivity rate is coming down,” said Dr Jai Prakash, the district surveillance officer.

Written by Sakshi Dayal | Published: July 1, 2020 1:53:42 am
Ambience Mall in Gurgaon being sanitised a day ahead of its reopening on Tuesday. (Express photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

Despite Gurgaon recording a significant surge in Covid-19 cases in June, a closer look at the daily health bulletins released suggests a contrast between the two halves of the month, with the number of new cases reducing by 26% in the last two weeks.

The week between June 22 and June 28 saw the district record 731 cases, significantly lower than the 1,000-plus figure during the rest of the weeks.

By contrast, the number of samples collected for testing doubled in the last two weeks of June, spurred partly by the start of antigen testing in the district. While a total of 5,309 samples were collected in the first two weeks, 11,150 samples were picked up in the last two, with 6,708 being collected in the last week alone. Officials said the district’s recovery rate also increased by almost 20% during this period.

“As of June 20, our recovery rate was 55.9%. It jumped to 73.8% by Monday, which is definitely a good sign. Testing capacity has also increased, and the positivity rate is coming down,” said Dr Jai Prakash, the district surveillance officer.

The worrying figure, however, is of fatalities, which have increased from 28 deaths till June 14, to 84 deaths as of June 28. While acknowledging the dip in positive cases, health department officials warned that this does not necessarily mean the hold of the infection on the city has reduced.

“The positivity rate of the district has come down, which is a good sign. This is partly due to stricter enforcement. For example, we have communicated to laboratories to ensure they take the correct address and contact details of anyone who gives a sample for testing, which will help trace them later. This was initially a major problem, as people would give wrong addresses, making it impossible for the department to track them down when they tested positive and isolate them,” said chief medical officer Virender Yadav.

“Our target has now changed. The focus is not on the number of cases, but on testing and finding the people who are infected and isolating them, which we are doing through antigen testing. On Tuesday itself, we collected samples at 11 sites, and may cross 1,000 tests… The decrease in cases is a good sign, but this is not a guarantee. Suddenly 200 people may test positive in one day. Our focus must be on tracking down those who are infected,” he said.

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