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Home / India News / Positivity rate comes down by at least 50% in Bihar

Positivity rate comes down by at least 50% in Bihar

The positivity rate, which was 15.17% on July 15 had dipped to 7.75% on August 1, indicates the extent of the viral outbreak, according to state the health department.

india Updated: Aug 03, 2020 13:58 IST
Ruchir Kumar
Ruchir Kumar
Hindustan Times, Patna
A worker in PPE coveralls sprays disinfectant at a COVID-19 isolation ward in Hotel Pataliputra Ashoka in Patna, Bihar.
A worker in PPE coveralls sprays disinfectant at a COVID-19 isolation ward in Hotel Pataliputra Ashoka in Patna, Bihar. (Santosh Kumar/ Hindustan Times)

The positive rate of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) – the percentage of people testing positive out of those tested – has come down by at least 50% between July 15 and August 1, even though there has been a 63% surge in the number of cases during the corresponding period.

The positivity rate, which was 15.17% on July 15 had dipped to 7.75% on August 1, indicates the extent of the viral outbreak, according to state the health department.

The declining positivity rate, said officials, was due to increased testing of swab samples.

Bihar, of late, has been able to ramp up its daily testing to more than 3.5 times since July 15, when it had tested 10,052 samples, as compared to 35,619 on August 1.

The state has tested 6,12,415 samples to date.

Bihar’s positivity rate has declined since July 27, when it was 14.53% and 14,236 tests were carried out on that day.

The turnaround happened after Pratyaya Amrit replaced Uday Singh Kumawat, as the state principal secretary, health, on July 27.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who was sore with Kumawat’s performance, had also chided him earlier.

“When Delhi can do 38,000 tests per day, why can’t Bihar?” the angry CM is said to have fumed during a review meeting on the management of Covid-19 and floods that ravaged the state and had asked Kumawat to quit if he could not take care of the health department.

Kumawat was unavailable for his comment.

“The decline in positivity rate has been possible because we have been able to ramp up our daily testing across the state. I am still not satisfied with what has been achieved. I would like to get it down to less than 5%,” said Amrit.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), a positivity rate of less than 5% — for two weeks — indicates that an epidemic is under control, he said, stressing on the CM’s mantra for increased daily testing.

Dr. Tanmay Mahapatra, a Bihar-based epidemiologist, who had had a stint of research in the United States of America (USA) on infectious disease epidemiology, however, cautioned that the declining positivity alone was not enough.

“Declining positivity may be a good sign in the sense that daily testing is being conducted more. Declining positivity, along with improving recovery (64% as on Sunday), and reducing the spread of the virus are all a good sign,” he said.

“Test positivity may decrease due to many factors. The strengthening healthcare system to handle the upsurge, coupled with syndromic surveillance and home isolation are the need of the hour,” he added.

Bihar reported 2,762 Covid cases on Sunday, as the tally climbed to 57,270, including 322 deaths.

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