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Gurugram: Test positivity rate dips below 10% for first time in two weeks

By HT Correspondent, Gurugram
PUBLISHED ON SEP 26, 2020 11:12 PM IST

The district reported 273 new cases of Covid-19 on Saturday, along with 455 new recoveries and two deaths due to the illness, as per the data shared by the heath department.

With the growth rate of new cases having slowed down over the past three days, the daily test-positivity rate(TPR) in Gurugram district fell to 8.5 percent on Saturday. This is the first time in at least two weeks that the TPR has dipped below the 10 percent-mark. Officials said this indicates that Gurugram might once again be seeing a slowdown in transmission of the SARS-Cov-2 virus.

Health department officials also pointed out that the rate of recovery from Covid-19 has seen a significant improvement in the past week, increasing from 81 percent on September 19 to 85.6 percent on September 26. “Over the past three days, the number of daily recoveries has been over 400, but new cases are below 300. This has helped drive up the recovery rate by a good margin,” said Dr Jai Prakash Sharma, district surveillance officer, Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, Gurugram.

The daily growth rate of new positives, meanwhile, dipped to 1.4 percent on Saturday, the lowest in at least three weeks. “Throughout September we have seen a growth rate of about 2 percent, which has dipped only in the last week. Our aim is to bring the growth rate down to 1 percent, as was the case in August,” said Dr Ram Prakash Sharma, district epidemiologist, Gurugram. The slowing down of the growth rate is also indicated in Gurugram’s doubling rate, which stood at 61 days on Saturday — up from 41 days a week prior.

With the dip in the positivity rate, officials said, they now have more time to increase testing. The district health department had aimed to increase the number of daily tests for Covid-19 to 5,000, but health department data shows that, over the past week, the district conducted anywhere between 3,000 to 3,500 tests per day.

Officials explained that this is not worrying. “When positivity rate drops without an increase in tests, it indicates that transmission of the virus has slowed down. We can’t say with certainty as to why this is the case. However, numbers indicate that this is likely to be the case,” said Dr Jai Prakash, adding that testing capacities will be expanded nonetheless in the coming weeks. “Transmission of the virus may pick up as the temperature drops in the coming weeks, so the appropriate response would be to increase testing at this stage,” he added.

As of September 26, Gurugram’s total tally of reported infections stands at 19,640. In the past 26 days, Gurugram has recorded 7,499 cases of Covid-19 (more than double the 2,942 cases reported throughout the month of August). The district has also recorded 28 deaths this month so far, up from 16 deaths in August.

The number of active cases in the district currently stands at 2,658, down from 2,781 on September 19. Of these, 239 are currently hospitalised, while 2,402 are under home isolation. Another 17 cases are under observation at district Covid care centres. Ventilator and ICU bed occupancy stands at 50 percent each, while only a quarter of general oxygen beds are in use.

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