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Growth of covid-19 cases declines in lockdown’s second week, positivity rate goes up

Bedanti Saran bedanti
PUBLISHED ON MAY 08, 2021 08:46 PM IST

Bedanti Saran

bedanti.saran@hindustantimes.com

Ranchi: The deadliest second wave of covid-19 pandemic is swiftly spreading across every corner of Jharkhand which has been witnessing a continuous rise in disease’s positivity rate even after imposition of partial lockdown in the state.

Noticing a steep surge in covid-19 cases in the first three weeks of April, the state government clamped a partial lockdown in the fourth week (April 22-28), which has been extended further with certain new embargo.

While Jharkhand now entered in the third week (May6-12) of the lockdown, the first two weeks saw a decline in growth of cases but reported a significant rise in positivity rate (number of positive cases per hundred samples tested).

The state discovered 44,133 positive cases in lockdown’s first week (April 22-29) when certain exempted trade activities were allowed till 8 pm. These cases were detected after testing 322,392 samples with positivity rate stood at 13.68%, meaning thereby that to every 100 samples tested, 13.68 returned positive.

The lockdown’s second week (April 29-May 5), however, was more stricter as exempted trade activities were allowed only till 2 pm with only exception to medicine shops and petrol pumps.

The growth of positive cases dipped this week as the state unearthed 41,626 cases registering a decline of 5.68% in comparison to the previous week, when 44,133 cases were reported. The disease’s positivity rate, however, didn’t go down but jumped to 16.25% from the previous week of 13.68% as the 41,626 odd cases were discovered after testing 256,134 samples.

The rising positivity rate, however, is the real cause of concern for the state as it indicates the rapid spread of the infection.

The state reported weekly positivity rates of 4.85%, 7.16%, 10.96%, 13.68% and 16.25% respectively in April 1-7, April 8-14, April 15-21, April 22-28 and April 29-May 5.

Health experts, however, opined that the lockdown has greatly impacted the fast spread of the infection.

Dr Dewesh Kumar, assistant professor of department of preventive and social medicine RIMS, said, “The lockdown has definitely slowed down the spread of the disease. If we see the results of sample tests conducted at RIMS laboratory, we can say that positivity rate has gone down. We had seen positivity rate as high as 45% on April 17, when 278 positive cases were detected after testing 605 samples. This has gradually came down and on Saturday, we saw only 72 samples tested positive out of total 360. Besides, we have noticed that there has been a significant decline in number of people seeking beds and Remdesivir injections. This shows positive trend as the rush in hospitals is gradually waning.”

Dr Kumar said, “We should wait for at least one more week to see the real impact as there is three-four days of delay in test reports. Results of samples collected today will come after three-four days. So, a real assessment could be done atleast after three-four weeks.”

According to Kumar, the peak of cases has already come in Jharkhand.

“I personally feel that the state has attained the peak and now the cases will decline. Due to lockdown, the growth trajectory would remain flat but high number of cases will keeping coming till May end,” he said.

Dr Kumar also indicated that there would be a rise in death toll as according to him the peak in deaths come atleast 10 days after the peak of positive cases.”

Jharkhand has been witnessing a continuous rise in number of covid-19 deaths since early April. It reported 38, 141, 317, 786 and 951 deaths respectively in April 1-7, April 8-14, April 15-21, April 22-28 and April 29-May 5.

According to health department’s covid-19 bulletin of May 8 morning, the state has so far reported 276062 cases including 211270 recoveries, 61177 active cases and 3615 deaths.

BOX

Before and after lockdown

Week. Cases/ST/PR*

April 1-7: 6707/138,098/4.85%

April 8-14: 16,884/235,540/7.16%

Apr 15-21:29,564/269,708/10.96%

Lockdown

Ap 22-29: 44,133/322,392/13.68%

Ap 29-May 5: 41,626/256,134/16.25%

*ST: Sample tested

*PR: Positivity rate

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