New Delhi: A sharp decline of 74 percent has been recorded in the average weekly test positivity rate from the highest reported positivity rate between April and May, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said in its briefing on June 11.
The enhanced testing has brought down the daily positivity in the past 24 hours to 4.49 percent, from 4.69 percent a day ago, after two-and-a-half months.
“For the past five weeks there has been a decline in positivity, 31 states and Union Territories have reported an overall decrease in positivity, 15 states have reported average positivity less than five percent,” Lav Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, MoHFW, said.
The national positivity rate has fallen from a weekly average peak of 21.6 percent to 5.60 percent this week.
2 April- 8 April: 10.4%
30 April – 6 May: 21.6%
4 June – 10 June: 5.6%
Positivity rate is the percentage of people who are found to be infected by the virus from those who are tested. A zero percent positivity rate is considered ideal and five percent is too high.
So even if the national positivity rate is 4.49 percent, it continues to be high and the testing pace has to be maintained.
A high percent positive rate means the transmission of the disease is very widespread in the community and requires measures like greater testing to isolate the infected and track those who have come in contact with the infected.
The data released by the ministry on June 9 shows that more than 60 percent of districts have a positivity rate in the bracket of 0-5 percent which covers most of north India.
But most districts in southern, north-eastern India come under the 23.88 percent districts showing a high positivity of more than 10 percent.
Furthermore, out of the 14.79 percent districts reporting positivity of five to 10 percent most are located in the southern belt of the country.
This means that in these districts lifting of Covid restrictions will take longer. In Karnataka, COVID-induced lockdown will remain in force until 21 June in 11 districts out of 30 where the positivity rate continues to be high.
These districts include Chikkamagaluru, Shivamogga, Davanagere, Mysuru, Chamarajanagar, Hassan, Dakshina Kannada, Bengaluru Rural, Mandya, Belagavi and Kodagu districts, while Bengaluru Urban will have a graded opening.
In Maharashtra, Pune, Kolhapur, Satara, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg and Raigad districts continue to be of concern with a higher than five percent test positivity rate.
The Tamil Nadu government has decided to extend the total lockdown by another week till June 21.
Coimbatore recorded the highest positivity rate between June 1 and 7 at 29.9 percent in Tamil Nadu, other districts of Thanjavur and Karur are also districts of concern where curbs may remain in place.
Increased testing is the way to isolate infected people, track and trace contacts to bring down the positivity rate, and, hence, the march of the pandemic.