18 Aug 2020: Coronavirus: India amplifies testing, positivity rate hovers around 8%
India has upped coronavirus testing and with it, the positivity rate, which tells how many people who were tested contracted the infection, has swelled too.
The government said that cumulative testing went from 1.2 crore on July 14 to more than 3 crore on August 16.
Likewise, the positivity rate swelled from 7.5% to 8.8% during the same period.
Here are more details.
Statistics: A record 7,31,697 samples were tested yesterday
At the beginning of July, India was testing less than one lakh samples daily. The country managed a turnaround and is now testing more than 7 lakh samples.
On Monday, India reported roughly 54,000 new coronavirus infections, taking the nationwide tally to 27.01 lakh while the death toll neared 52,000.
Meanwhile, the number of total recoveries also reached 19.75 lakh.
Fact: Experts still relying on testing and tracing strategy
Lalit Kant, Scientist, and Former Head of Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases, ICMR, said, "We need to test more. 'Testing, tracing, isolation' strategy needs to be more aggressively implemented. The virus is making inroads in areas where providing healthcare to COVID-19 patients may be challenging."
Good news: On the brighter side, India's recovery rate has increased
India's recovery rate is among the best in the world and is nearing 72%. On Monday itself 57,584 patients defeated the disease.
What's more encouraging is the fact that the total number of active cases comprises only 25.57% of the total cases. The fatality rate has also declined and hovers around 1%.
Despite welcoming news, the government advised against letting guards down.
Stability: Experts believe an 8% positivity rate is not bad
Given the fact that on some days the positivity rate reached 10% or 13%, experts opined that an average of 8% is comparatively better news. There are also days when the positivity rate is less than the aforementioned figure.
For example, this Sunday, the positivity rate came to be around 7.9% with 57,981 new cases being reported.
Goal: The government wants this rate to be within 5%
The government predicted that the number of positive cases will rise before declining. Now, the main goal is to bring a positivity rate below 5%.
"The COVID-19 pandemic is a very patchy pandemic as it goes up and down. Delhi's situation may have been controlled but it's going way up in cities like Bengaluru," said Dr. Suchin Bajaj, an expert on the matter.
Concerning news: Meanwhile, six states have recorded a sharp rise in cases
While the highest cases in the country continue to be recorded in Maharashtra and the Southern states, six states from the north and east of India have recorded a sharp rise in infections from July 24 to August 16.
Cases in Bihar, UP, Jharkhand, Assam, Bengal, and Odisha, home to millions of migrant workers, have gone up by 2.6%, Times of India reported.