India's COVID positivity rate dips to 5.42 pc: Health ministry

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New Delhi, Feb 4 (PTI) India's cumulative COVID-19 positivity rate has declined to 5.42 per cent while the weekly positivity rate (last week) was recorded at 1.82 per cent, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday. Eight states and union territories, which have a weekly positivity rate more than the national average of 1.82 per cent are Kerala ( 11.20 per cent), Chhattisgarh (6.20 per cent), Maharashtra (4. 70 per cent), Goa (4.40 per cent), Nagaland (3.60 per cent), Ladakh (2.90 per cent), Puducherry (2.60 per cent) and Chandigarh (2.10 per cent), Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said at a press briefing.

'This is certainly a reason for worry. We are continuously being in touch with them. We have also sent central teams to some of these states yesterday,' Bhushan said.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 19,92,16,019 samples have been tested for detection of COVID-19 up to February 3 with 7,42,841 samples being tested on Wednesday. The test per million stands at 1,44,359.

'If we see the trend of cumulative COVID-19 positivity rate on the basis of tests conducted, it has declined from 8.89 per cent on August 4 to 5.42 per cent on February 4,' Bhushan said. He further said that two states -- Kerala (69,365) and Maharashtra (38,762) -- account for 70 per cent of the total active cases in the country. Bhushan said that 47 districts have not reported any new case of COVID-19 in the last three weeks, while 251 districts have not reported any new death during the same period. The worldwide COVID-19 situation is still worrisome, Bhushan stressed, adding that some countries have seen multiple peaks, while some have seen surges at least twice. 'In India, cases are declining. But this indicates that we still have to follow COVID appropriate behaviour,' the Union Health secretary said.

While countries like the US, the UK, Brazil, Germany and Russia have shown a surge in deaths for a second time, India is seeing a decline in the number of COVID-19 deaths. PTI PLB KJ