India’s Covid-19 positivity rate shows marginal decline
The positivity rate of Covid-19 infections in India is witnessing a marginal decline, government data shows. The government also says aggressive testing has helped authorities carry out effective treatment and sustain a low fatality rate.
Over the past month, the positivity rate of the deadly disease has come down from 8.52% to 8.32% on Saturday, which the government attributes to significant scaling up of testing.
“India has exponentially scaled up its testing capacity from one in January to more than 7.7 cr in October. With progressively falling Positivity Rate, testing has worked as a highly effective tool to limit the spread of #COVID19 infection,” the Union health ministry tweeted on Sunday morning.
“Very high levels of testing lead to early identification, prompt isolation & effective treatment of #COVID19 cases. These have eventually resulted in a sustained low Fatality Rate,” said the health ministry in another tweet.
According to the government data till Saturday, the total number of cases and deaths in the country have been 55,09,966 and 101,782 respectively. The national case fatality rate is at 1.84%.
India’s coronavirus disease testing capacity has been increased to conduct about 1.5 million tests daily. On an average, the country has been performing about a million Covid tests a day over the past one month.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), which has been spearheading the testing initiative, has significantly upgraded the testing infrastructure. From just one lab (the National Institue of Virology in Pune, which was approved to conduct Covid-19 tests in January), ICMR has now added close to 2,000 labs to the network of labs approved to conduct the tests.
“More labs are being added each day to perform Covid-19 tests, and increase the testing capacity across the country. In a short span of six months, from establishing new labs in some of the remote areas where there were hardly any facilities nearby to perform these tests, to upgrading existing labs and repurposing old diagnostic platforms that were used for tuberculosis and HIV testing, we ensured there was no lack of testing facility anywhere in country,” said an ICMR official who did not want to be named.
“Today, close to 1.5 million tests can be performed in a day in all our labs. It’s a remarkable achievement in such a short span of time,” he added.