J&K saw 77% dip in Covid cases in July, but it’s time to be more cautious

Experts say the cases may continue to fall for a few weeks after which it may rise due to lifting of restrictions.
A 'door-to-door' Covid-19 vaccination team speaks to a resident during a vaccination drive at a village in the Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir. (Bloomberg)
A 'door-to-door' Covid-19 vaccination team speaks to a resident during a vaccination drive at a village in the Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir. (Bloomberg)
Published on Aug 05, 2021 02:28 AM IST
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By Ashiq Hussain, Srinagar

Jammu and Kashmir’s Covid-19 cases in July dropped by 77% while deaths due to the disease decreased by 86% despite an increase of tests by 25% as compared to June.

Experts say the cases may continue to fall for a few weeks after which it may rise due to lifting of restrictions.

According to the official data, the UT recorded 5,800 infections and 55 deaths in July while in June, it had seen 25,197 cases and 416 deaths.

In July, there was a consistent decrease in test positivity rate (TPR) -- the percentage of tests that turn out to be positive out of the total tests conducted during the period.

Between July 1 and 10, the TPR stood at 0.46%, between July 11 and 20, it was at 0.28% and from July 21 and 31, the figure stood at 0.23%. The daily cases went below 100 after July 20 to a low of 63 on July 23 in the second wave.

However, in the past 10 days, the UT has seen a slight increase in cases. The TPR from July 25 to August 03 has seen a slight increase of 0.24%. Over the last 10 days, the daily cases have been fluctuating between 100 and 160.

Experts say the situation may remain like this for two to three weeks after which, the cases are expected to rise again as restrictions have been eased.

“We are exactly at the position where we were in February when the first wave had ebbed. The daily cases will hover around 100, sometimes 20 up and sometimes 20 down and this will change after two-three weeks when the cases will again rise,” said Dr Owais H Dar, general secretary of Doctors Association of Kashmir.

“As restrictions have been eased and everything is open, people are hardly wearing masks. The virus variants are also evolving. These will obviously contribute to the emergence of the third wave,” he said.

The overall test positivity rate (TPR) in the month of July dropped to 0.32% while it had been 1.80% in June.

In May, when the second Covid-19 wave peaked, the TPR was 8.77% with the month recording 1.14 lakh cases and 1,625 deaths.

There has been a consistent increase in the average monthly number of tests in the past three months. The UT conducted 17.58 lakh tests in July – over 25 % more than June when 13.93 lakh tests were performed. On an average, 56,700 people were tested daily in July against 46,400 in June.

Dr Owais said he is hopeful the third wave won’t be severe.

“The one positive this time is that large part of our population is vaccinated. So we expect that the peak this time won’t be very high. But it will also depend on the mutations of the virus,” he said.

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Friday, October 22, 2021