Bihar rattled by 96 COVID-19 deaths in a day, positivity rate continues to fall

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Patna, May 17 (PTI) Ninety-six fresh COVID-19 fatalities rattled Bihar on Monday, raising the death toll in the pandemic so far to 3,928 in the state which has been heaving a sigh of relief following a marked decline in its active caseload and positivity rate.

According to the health department, 5,920 cases were reported since the previous day, a significant drop since about a fortnight ago when the number of people infected by the coronavirus in a day often exceeded 15,000.

The total number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic struck last year has reached 6.57 lakh. More than half of them tested positive in the last one month alone a clear indication of the unprecedented surge witnessed in Bihar during the devastating second wave.

Nonetheless, the positivity rate which had crossed 15 per cent earlier this month, has plummeted to 4.75 per cent.

The number of active cases, which had for days remained more than one lakh last month, has also come down to 69,697.

For breaking the chain of infection, the state has been under a full lockdown, clamped by the Nitish Kumar government initially for the period May 5-11 which was later extended till May 25.

The number of COVID-19 patients in the state who have, so far, recovered is 5.84 lakh.

The testing rate was cranked up in the state nearly two months ago when the government anticipated a spike especially in the wake of the return of migrants on a large scale from other states where they lost their homes and jobs because of lockdowns.

In the last 24 hours, 1.25 lakh samples were tested. A total number of samples tested so far is 2.81 crore.

Meanwhile, a mobile application aimed at keeping track of the condition of those staying in home isolation after testing positive was launched here by the chief minister, who also conducted a virtual inspection of community kitchens run by the state government for providing free food to those who can ill-afford it on account of joblessness during the lockdown.

Administering vaccines is also underway in the state where the government has promised free jabs to the entire population.

Altogether 92.29 lakh people have taken the shots so far and government sources say the pace of inoculation would pick up with greater availability of vials and easing of travel restrictions. PTI NAC MM MM

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