Himachal’s Covid positivity rate jumps to 14.5%; Kangra, Shimla among worst hit
Himachal Pradesh state cabinet meeting on Thursday to discuss steps to check the spread of coronavirus infection
With no let-up in the Covid-19 spike in the state, as the positivity rate in the hill state climbed to 14.3% last week as against the national weekly rate of 4.57%, the Himachal Pradesh cabinet is to meet on Thursday to discuss steps to check the Covid-19 spread. The positivity rate the week before last was 10.7%.
A total of 28,410 samples were sent for testing in the week of July 18-24 in the state of which 4,063 turned out positive as compared to 2,371 cases reported in the July 11-17 week when 22,077 samples were tested.
Speaking about the same, principal health secretary Subashish Panda said, “Positivity is a function of the number of tests that we do and how many out of them are found positive. Currently, our approach is to test all the symptomatic or in clusters where there is positivity. There is no aggressive random/community level testing. Hence all those tested are the ones that are already having symptoms. Hence our positivity rate will naturally be high.”
Mandi, Kullu have highest positivity rate
Mandi topped the tally with the positivity rate in the district shooting up to 24.3% from 19.2%. A total of 2,907 samples were tested in the district, of which 707 came back positive.
Kullu, meanwhile, reported a positivity rate of 17.8%. Of the 1,218 samples tested in the district, 217 were detected positive.
With Shimla district logging 622 positive cases out of 3,515 samples with a positivity rate climbing to 17.7%, district chief medical officer Surekha Chopra said people were advised to wear masks and adopt Covid-appropriate behaviour, adding, “Now that the more and more people with symptoms are coming out for the testing and the department is also started contact tracing the number could increase in the coming days.”
The positivity rate in Kinnaur stood 15.2% with the district reporting 75 positive cases from 492 samples. Chamba had a positivity rate of 14.1% and Hamirpur at 13.2%
Kangra, which is the worst-hit district in terms of the total number of cases reported in a week, had a positivity rate of 12.7%%. A total of 984 samples out of 7,730 came back positive in the state’s most densely populated district.
Kangra chief medical officer Gurdarshan Gupta said the spread of infection across went beyond district borders and urged the public to strictly follow the Covid norms, highlighting how the positivity rate in Kangra was 1.2% in April, 0.8% in May and 3.2% in June. “The positivity rate has now jumped over 12%. People should stay alert and get their tests done in case of flu-like symptoms,” he added.
Among other districts, Solan clocked a positivity rate of 11.9%, Bilaspur 10.4%, Una 10.2%, Sirmaur 9.5% and Lahaul-Spiti had the lowest rate at 8.7%.
As many as 986 fresh positive cases were reported across the state since Tuesday, taking the total tally of active cases to 4,571.
A total of 5,174 people were tested in the different hospitals and health centres across 12 districts of the state and 265 new cases were reported in Kangra district, 177 in Mandi and 132 in Shimla, while 78 cases were reported in Hamirpur.