Amaravati, Jun 21 (PTI): The alarming upward surge of the COVID-19 graph in Andhra Pradesh post-lockdown since June 1 continued as 477 fresh cases were added, taking the total to 8,929 on Sunday.
The toll, too, increased by another five to 106 while 151 patients had recovered and been discharged from hospitals across the state, the latest COVID-19 bulletin said.
After a total of 4,307 recoveries, the number of active cases in the state now stood at 4,516, it said.
In the three weeks since the 'unlock' started on June 1, 5,253 coronavirus cases were added in Andhra Pradesh, with 1,540 of them being from other states and another 330 from other countries.
Through lockdown 1.0 to lockdown 4.0, 3,668 coronavirus cases were registered in the state.
While the first COVID-19 case was registered in the state on March 12 (in SPS Nellore district), there were only eight cases till March 24, prior to the lockdown.
During lockdown 1.0, 495 cases were reported in 21 days, 1,147 in the next 19 days (lockdown 2.0), 782 in 14 days (lockdown 3.0) and 1,244 in the subsequent fortnight (lockdown 4.0), according to government data.
During the 68-day lockdown period, the state averaged 54 COVID-19 cases per day but, since June 1, the average shot up to 262.
'What we are seeing now is the peaking of the pandemic after we have opened up. Also, our testing strategy has changed and we have scaled up the number of daily tests.
In the last 24 hours, we did a record 24,451 tests and detected 477 positive cases,' a senior official of the health department pointed out.
From 0.9 per cent, the infection positivity rate climbed to 1.32 per cent in the last three weeks, while the recovery rate dropped from 63.49 per cent to 48.24 per cent.
The government has said that it has conducted the highest number of 12,675 tests per million population in the country, with the aggregate crossing 6,76,828 on Sunday.
'We have ramped up our testing capacity so much that we are now taking less than a week to test one lakh samples whereas as it took 58 days for the initial one lakh samples,' the official pointed out.
Besides, the state has also been going aggressive in testing 60+-year-old persons and those with comorbidities.
'We are targeting the right areas like containment zones, old towns, vegetable markets and also the right categories, including primary contacts and migrants. All this is reflecting in the growing number of Covid-19 positive cases, the official added.
We have to fight the pandemic together and get rid of it. Everyone should take it as a social responsibility and partner themselves in this fight,' Special Chief Secretary (Health) K S Jawahar Reddy said.
He said people above 40 years of age also fell in the high-risk category.
'Of the COVID-19 casualties in the state, at least 14 were in the 40-49 age group. People should take all precautions to stay safe,' he added. PTI DBV APR RAVINDRANATH APR RAVINDRANATH