A multi-pronged strategy to contain the spread of the virus in the last two months appeared to have worked well, except in three or four districts, leading to a gradual decline of the number of positive cases of the novel coronavirus in the State, he said.
As of September 29, according to health department data, Telangana is conducting 79,206 tests per million population, the positivity ratio has declined to 4 percent, the case fatality ratio at 0.58 percent. At the same time, the bed occupancy ratio in the government and private hospitals has fallen to 25.4 percent and 34.5 percent, respectively. The recovery rate has improved to 83.84 percent. Stating that these were encouraging signs, he appealed to citizens not hesitate to return to their daily lives, but with utmost precautions.
“I appeal to the employers, especially in the IT corridor of Cyberabad, Hitec city, and Madhapur, to resume business operations. There is nothing to fear if all the precautions are taken. Almost 98 percent of people in the Greater Hyderabad region have gone back to their regular lives. The only vaccine at the moment is effectively wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing, and using hand sanitizers,” emphasized Dr. Rao.
Telangana has tested 29,40,642 samples to date. The cumulative caseload stands at 1,89,283 as of September 29. Of them, 29,477 persons are active and under treatment. With a population of over one crore, the number of active COVID-19 patients in Greater Hyderabad is 4,026. Whereas, as many as 1,116 persons have succumbed to the virus.
“The number of positive cases will further come down,” said Dr. Rao, cautioning that a surge in cases is possible if the public does not behave responsibly.
“We had the inauguration of a cable-stayed bridge in the city where hundreds had gathered in one place. We had a political rally and several public events. As part of unlock-4, bars and restaurants have opened now. We have an assembly byelection and elections to the GHMC coming up. The virus will stay here amidst us. Unless we take precautions, we may have sudden outbreaks in clusters leading to a surge in cases,” Dr. Rao added. The Director of Medical Education, Dr. K Ramesh Reddy, echoed the same views and said the State is equipped to handle any crisis.
Asked what reasons could have led to a drop in the number of positive cases, Dr. Rao said that increasing the number of tests to at least 50,000 a day helped in early identification of cases, tracing of their primary and secondary contacts, and ensuring proper treatment. Of the 29.4 lakh tests performed so far, nearly 35 percent were RT-PCR tests. And among those persons with symptoms and yet tested negative in Rapid Antigen Tests, 55 percent underwent confirmatory RT-PCR tests, he said.
“We have instructed RT-PCR tests to be conducted on anyone with symptoms even if they test negative for antibodies. I urge those with symptoms to demand an RT-PCR test to be conducted on their samples. Now we have decided that all our mobile labs will collect only RT-PCR samples in areas where we have a high test positivity ratio,” added the DPH.
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