Updated: February 5, 2021 8:58:28 pm
The overall Covid-19 positivity rate in Kerala dipped below 7 per cent for the first time in months as the state’s health department hiked the number of tests being conducted daily. If this trend holds, it could be the beginning of the end of the present wave of infections in the state.
On Friday, Kerala reported 5,610 new cases when a total of 91,931 samples were tested in the last 24 hours. This translates to a positivity rate of 6.10 per cent. Since November, the state’s test positivity rate, which indicates the spread of the infection in the community, has hovered between 8-12 per cent.
This is the first time that the state has conducted over 90,000 tests within a 24-hour window. The decision to carry out higher testing was taken by the state government after being prodded by the Centre and health experts.
Health experts, including the state chapter of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), have repeatedly asked the government to conduct more RT-PCR tests as opposed to antigen tests which can give false negatives. According to reports, almost 70 per cent of daily tests were antigen. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has promised to conduct more RT-PCR tests than antigen tests, though there are doubts about the feasibility of the state infrastructure to conduct more RT-PCR tests.
On Friday, 6,653 people tested negative, taking the number of active cases to 67,795. The state presently has the highest number of people under treatment in India.The overall death toll rose to 3832.
India’s health ministry has said that Kerala, along with Maharashtra, contributes 70 per cent of new daily infections. A two-member Central government team visited Kerala and held meetings with officials this week in a bid to bring down the infections.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines