Covid-19 cases surge but positivity rate decreasesUpdated: Nov 22, 2020, 23:30 IST
Over the past week, the district reported 4,273 new cases of Covid-19, which was up from the 3,948 new cases reported a week prior. However, despite the increase, officials in the health department painted a positive picture of dealing with the spread of the virus, particularly as testing numbers have been augmented.
The district tested its highest weekly sample aggregate between November 16 and November 22, totalling 37,073 tests. This marks a significant jump from the 21,466 samples tested a week prior.
As a result, Gurugram’s weekly test-positivity rate (TPR) dipped from 18% between November 8 and November 14 to 11% last week. “This is a good sign. If increased testing is met with rising positivity rate, it indicates a faster spread among the population. Fortunately, we have increased tests and found the positivity rate to reduce, which means we are still keeping up with the spread to a degree,” said Dr Jai Prakash Sharma, surveillance officer, Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, Gurugram.
Despite the dip in positivity rate, experts and officials called for continued adherence to social distancing norms. “Even if the positivity rate is low, in absolute numbers, the cases are still going up. This may eventually start putting added strain on hospitals. It is important at this point to have stronger public messaging, and to rigorously test, trace and isolate,” said Dr Rajesh Kumar, epidemiologist and former professor of community medicine at Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh.
In a recorded address to the public on Sunday, deputy commissioner Amit Khatri said, “We have all become a bit careless, a bit lazy and are not taking the disease as seriously as we should. Therefore, in the current situation, I would like to remind you that we need to be cautious as we celebrate the various upcoming festivals. We need to follow social distancing and hygiene protocols.”
Gurugram’s total tally of Covid-19 infections now stands at 44,206, up from 39,387 cases a week ago. The number of active cases has reduced slightly, from 5,990 active patients on November 15 to 5,693 active cases on Sunday. Of these, 422 patients are currently hospitalised, which is up from 405 a week ago, while 5,264 patients are under home isolation, which is down from 5,575 a week ago. Another seven patients, down from 10 a week ago, are under observation at district Covid care centres.