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From bottom of the pile, Jharkhand rises up Covid testing charts

Daily tests up ten times from June figure, say state officials.

Written by Abhishek Angad | New Delhi |
September 11, 2020 1:31:41 am
india coronavirus cases, covid tests, jharkhand coronavirus, jharkhand covid test rate,As on September 9, the number of samples tested for Covid-19 stood at 12.69 lakh compared to 4.48 lakh people who were tested as on August 15 for Covid-19. (Representational/Express photo by Gajendra Yadav)

Once the bottom-ranked state in terms of testing, Jharkhand has significantly scaled up the rate of the procedure—from 8,837 tests per million in August 2 to 33,125 now.

Now, the state is eighth from the bottom in tests per million—ahead of Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Chandigarh, Nagaland, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh.

As on September 9, the number of samples tested for Covid-19 stood at 12.69 lakh compared to 4.48 lakh people who were tested as on August 15 for Covid-19. The state has 55,926 positive cases with 15,431 active ones. As many 39,362 people have recovered and discharged while 503 have died.

Principal Secretary Health Nitin Kulkarni said Jharkhand is currently conducting 30,000 tests each day—ten times more than the 3,000 tests per day early June. “We have sorted out various bottlenecks. For example we have seven functioning RT-PCR labs. Each district hospital now has five Turenat Machines (a total of 120 machines). We have also deployed Rapid Antigen Testing. We conducted testing drives and on one particular day Jharkhand tested 1.64 lakh people,” the Principal Secretary said.

A source said that “most importantly”, it was a weekly video meeting with each district which helped in closely monitoring the situation. He added: “Weekly monitoring created a push in all districts and problems like lack of availability of beds to testing kits were taken care of.”

A civil surgeon in one of the districts said the idea is to test at susceptible places such as containment zones, densely-populated areas, slums, vendors. “The vegetable shop vendors, grocery shop owners, frontline workers like doctors, policemen. We also targeted elderly population and people with co-morbidities, high-risk people, among others. This has significantly increased the testing levels.”

Jharkhand also launched a movile app, Arogya Jharkhand, where the test results of an individual are uploaded. One just has to upload their mobile number and the date of testing to get the results.

Jharkhand has improved its recovery rate too: While India’s stands at 77.32%, the state’s figure is at 71.46%, up from 36% in August 2.

The state’s seven-day growth rate, however, stands at 3.36% as against the country’s 2.16%. The seven-day doubling rate, meanwhile, is 20.93 days, while the all-India number is 32.48 days.

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