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India coronavirus numbers explained: Many states are yet to ramp up tests

India Coronavirus Cases: Nationally, almost five lakh samples are being tested every day. The increase in testing is one of the key reasons for the rise in the number of people detected to be infected with the disease.

Written by Amitabh Sinha , Edited by Explained Desk | Pune |
Updated: July 31, 2020 8:21:03 am
coronavirus, coronavirus news, covid 19, india covid 19 cases, coronavirus india update, coronavirus cases today update, coronavirus cases, coronavirus testing, indian express Healthcare workers test children for Covid-19 in Mankhud in Mumbai. (Express Photo: Amit Chakravarty)

India Coronavirus Cases: While Uttar Pradesh on Monday carried out over one lakh novel Coronavirus tests in a single day, there are many states which are still to step up their testing rate. Several of these states, including those who have caseloads more than 20,000, are testing less than 15,000 samples every day.

Among states with bigger caseloads that are lagging behind include Telangana, Bihar, Haryana, West Bengal, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh. Gujarat has not been doing very well either. Of these, Telangana has carried out less than four lakh tests right now, while Bihar and Odisha both have less than five lakh tests.

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Haryana has tested less than six lakh, while Gujarat has done less than seven lakh tests. Madhya Pradesh, Assam and West Bengal have about eight lakh tests each. There are other states, like Chhattisgarh or Jharkhand, which have even lesser number of tests, but most of these have lower caseloads as well.

On the other hand Tamil Nadu has carried out almost 25 lakh tests, while Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra are near 20 lakh each. Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan have done more than 15 lakh tests each.

Most of the states are now deploying rapid antigen tests to quickly check the status of a person, these have not been used as effectively as in the case of Uttar Pradesh which is conducting around 50,000 rapid tests every day.

Also read | Andhra reports over 10,000 cases; first time any state has reported more cases than Maharashtra

Nationally, almost five lakh samples are being tested every day. The increase in testing is one of the key reasons for the rise in the number of people detected to be infected with the disease, as also indicated by the steadily rising positivity rate. But over a long period, increased testing also has the effect of containing the further spread of the disease by ensuring that more and more infected people are detected, and then isolated and treated, on time.

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On Tuesday, the total number of people who have till now been infected with the virus crossed 15 lakh. With the addition of over 48,000 new cases, this number reached 15.31 lakh. The journey from 10 lakh to 15 lakh took just 12 days.

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Meanwhile, the results of another serological survey in Mumbai were released on Tuesday. Out of the nearly 7,000 people tested in this survey, about 40 per cent were found to have developed antibodies for the novel Coronavirus, indicating that they had been infected with the disease at some point, irrespective of whether they knew about it.

Interestingly, this survey, carried out among residents of Matunga, Chembur and Dahisar areas of the city, revealed that there was likely to be a much greater prevalence of the disease amongst the people living in the slums, compared to those in the residential colonies, or high-rise buildings. It is not surprising, since those living in residential societies and high-rises are probably able to isolate themselves better, but this is the first time that there are data to show this. Amongst the slum-dwellers who are tested, 57 per cent showed the presence of antibodies, while this proportion was only 16 per cent among residents of gated colonies and high-rises.

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Also, the virus was found to have a greater prevalence in women. This is at variance to the results from diagnostic tests. Among those who have been found to be positive through confirmatory tests, men outnumber women by a fair margin. This could be either because a greater proportion of women are asymptomatic carriers of the virus, meaning they are not showing any signs of disease, or lesser of them are getting themselves tested.

Don’t miss from Explained | Why India will remain a central player in vaccine development

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