Berhampur (Odisha), Jul 26 (PTI) Unabated surge in COVID-19 cases in Odisha's Ganjam notwithstanding, the administration claimed that the coronavirus positivity rate has dropped by over 50 per cent of what it was around three weeks ago in the district.
The south Odisha district, which has emerged as the COVID hotspot in the state with its heavy caseload, has so far recorded 8,678 cases and 79 fatalities, officials said.
'We had found 70 positive cases out of every 100 tests around 20 days ago. Now the same has come down to 25 to 30 per cent,' said Ganjam District Collector Vijay Amruta Kulange.
The spike of COVID-19 positive cases is high because the administration has ramped up the testing in the last few days. While around 500 COVID tests were being conducted every day about 20 days ago, the number of daily tests has now gone beyond 1,000, he said.
Moreover, the villages categorized as red zones are gradually becoming green as no positive cases have been found in these areas in the last two weeks. As many as 30 such red villages have turned into green villages in the last 10 days, Kulange said. 'Thats why we are more confident that Ganjam will soon gain normalcy,' added the collector.
Health experts, however, expressed diverse views and said that the government should come out with daily test reports like daily positive and death cases in the district.
'Its premature to make such predictions as a number of people are not coming forward for COVID test because of fear-psychosis,' said retired professor, chest diseases, MKCG Medical College and Hospital, Narayan Mishra.
He said more tests should be done for building confidence among the people and to know the exact percentage of positive persons in the district.
'To see the improvement more starkly, we can take daily cases and divide by daily tests to get a clear idea of test positivity, which is the total proportion of tests which come back positive,' said Sunil Kumar Kotta, a private practitioner.
Meanwhile, the district's total COVID-19 patients increased to 8,678 with the addition of 484 fresh cases and the death toll increased to 79 with six more persons succumbing to the infection. In fact, in the last five days, over 2,684 positive cases were reported in the district with a big jump in daily cases.
While 560 positive cases were detected on Saturday, 732 positive cases were reported on Friday, 540 on Thursday and 371 on Wednesday, official sources said. PTI COR SKN RG RG