Odisha government on Wednesday claimed that the state has the lowest rate of COVID-19 positivity in the country as it has registered only 0.4 per cent per 100 corona tests. This was stated by National Health Mission, Odisha director Shalini Pandit in the media briefing here.
"We have only 0.4 per cent COVID-19 positivity against Indias average of 4.3 per cent," she said. Further elaborating the fact, Pandit said while the rate of positivity in Delhi was highest at 8.4 followed by Maharastra at 7 per cent, Odishas positivity rate is only 0.4 per cent.
She explained that the rate of positivity has declined in the state with increase in the number of corona tests. While the state was conducting only 1,500 tests two weeks ago, it has increased to 15,000 a week by end of fourth week, she said.
Pandit also claimed that Odisha undertakes more corona tests than the national average. While the national average is 452 tests per 10 lakh population, it is 662 in Odisha.
In the absence of vaccine or proper medicine to treat to COVID-19 cases, Pandit said testing is the prime measure which helps to reduce the number of mortality as well as contain spread of the highly infectious disease.
The state government has now increased the number of corona tests and around 2000 tests are being conducted every day. As the states positivity rate is 0.4 per cent, one should not wonder if 8 to 10 new positive cases are detected every day.
"We usually get one positive case in every 250 corona tests," Pandit said, adding that the state government conducts tests keeping on vulnerability category like returnees from abroad and within the country, people having come in contact with earlier detected positive cases, people showing symptoms and health workers coming in contact with the affected persons.
"Earlier only symptomatic cases were tested, but now samples of all returnees, possible contacts and those in the risk category are being collected," she said.
Pandit said that identification of more positive cases would mean that right samples are being picked for tests. "This will help check further spread of the virus," she said. Pandit further said that asymptomatic cases in the state are as high as 82 per cent and these people can spread the infection unknowingly.
She said the people should not violate guidelines after lifting of the lockdown period. "Once the lockdown is lifted, people will have more responsibility while going out. They must maintain social distancing, frequent hand wash, use of mask and other requirements to contain the spread of the disease," she said.
Pandit said one-third of COVID-19 patients have been discharged from hospital after cure. Of the 83 active cases presently in COVID Hospitals, Pandit said only six persons need medical attention because of their cough and cold. None of them require ventilator now, she said.
However, she said the government keeps them in hospital in order to protect them as well as to contain spread of the virus.