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46 more test Covid positive in Bihar, tally rises to 999

PUBLISHED ON MAY 14, 2020 11:05 PM IST

PATNA Migrant workers to Bihar had an “infection rate” of 4.75%, which was double the state average, and contributed to 36% of the state’s total cases of Sars-CoV-2 that went up to 999, after 46 people tested positive for the virus Thursday.

“A total 352 migrant workers had tested positive so far of the 7,500 samples tested randomly among those who reached Bihar after May 4. This meant the “infection rate” among the migrant workers was close to 5%,” said Bihar health secretary Lokesh Kumar Singh.

A total of 2.36% of the 40,782 Covid-19 samples tested were positive for Sars-CoV-2 till Thursday noon. Till recently, the same figure was 1.7% - 1.8%, said Singh. This meant that the “infection rate” among migrants was more than double the state’s average, leading to a spike in cases during lockdown 3.0.

Of the 352 migrants who tested positive recently, 97 had come from Gujarat, 66 from Maharashtra, 22 from West Bengal, 17 from Haryana and 13 from Uttar Pradesh, he added. Besides, some had returned from other states, including Jharkhand, Telangana and Kerala.

Singh, however, did not respond to this reporter’s query on Bihar’s Covid-19 testing rate per million population.

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has already asked health officials to ramp up testing facilities for Covid-19 in the state.

Bihar has only six approved government testing laboratories, of which four are in Patna and one each at the medical colleges of Muzaffarpur and Bhagalpur. The laboratory at the Jawahhar Lal Nehru Medical College Hospital, Bhagalpur, which commenced testing on May 3, has temporarily stopped Covid-19 testing because of shortage of cartridges. The laboratory had conducted 350 tests before it ran out of cartridges.

“The chief minister wants testing of Covid-19 samples to be increased to at least 10,000 samples (in a day) as against 1,900-2,000 tests being done as of now. He wants the laboratory testing facility to be extended even to districts, and at the same time also ensure that there was no shortage of equipment and drugs across the state,” said Anupam Kumar, secretary of Bihar’s Information and Public Relations Department.

Meanwhile, 25 Covid-19 patients were cured and discharged from different facilities during the last 24 hours, taking the total number of recoveries in the state to 411 so far. Seven people infected by the virus had died so far.

Nine cases were reported from Purnea, six from Lakhisarai, five from Jehanabad, four from Khagaria, three each from Muzaffarpur, Banka, Nalanda, two from Sheikhpura, Rohtas, Vaishali , Supual, Khagaria and one each from Nawada, Bhojpur and Kishanganj on Thursday.

Around 130 people had reported positive on May 12 in what was the biggest single-day spike in cases since March 22, when Bihar reported the first three cases of the fast spreading contagion.

As of Thursday, Munger reported 122 cases, followed by Patna (99), Rohtas (77), Nalanda (66), Buxar (59), Begusarai (47), Siwan (38), Kaimur (33), Madhubani (31), Bhagalpur (32), Khagaria (36), Bhojpur (29), Jehanabad (26), West Champran, Nawada (25 each), Gopalganj (24), Aurangabad (18), Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur (16 each), East Champaran (15 each), Purnea (13), Banka (14), Katihar, Arwal, Lakhisarai (12 each), Samastipur, Sheikhpura (11 each), Saran, Saharsa, Kishanganj (10 each), Madhepura, Supaul (9 each), Gaya (8), Sitamarhi (7), Vaishali (6), Araria (4), Sheohar (3) and Jamui (1) till the time of going to the press.

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