Peak crossed; Covid transmission stabilising, says Centre

Nearly half of India is reporting a less than 5% test positivity rate, the Centre said on Tuesday, suggesting the peak of the second Covid-19 wave has been crossed, and the disease transmission has largely stabilised
Beneficiaries wait for their turn for Covid-19 vaccines at a camp at Lucknow’s Chhota Imambara on Tuesday, June 2. (ANI)
Beneficiaries wait for their turn for Covid-19 vaccines at a camp at Lucknow’s Chhota Imambara on Tuesday, June 2. (ANI)
Published on Jun 02, 2021 12:48 PM IST
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Nearly half of India is reporting a less than 5% test positivity rate, the Centre said on Tuesday, suggesting the peak of the second Covid-19 wave has been crossed, and the disease transmission has largely stabilised.

“Today, at least 350 districts, which is nearly half of India, has less than 5% case positivity rate; and 145 districts are currently hovering on between 5 and 10% positivity rate. However, there are still 239 districts with more than 10% positivity,” said Dr Balram Bhargava, director-general, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Test positivity is the percentage of total positive tests from all Covid-19 tests that have been conducted. It helps determine the levels of disease transmission within the community. As per the World Health Organisation recommendations, transmission during an infectious disease outbreak can be said to be stabilizing if the test positivity rate remains under 5% for at least two weeks consecutively.

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The Centre has said the data in the first week of April showed India had less than 200 districts with more than 10% positivity. By the end of April, the number had jumped to nearly 600 districts.

“...we are moving in the right direction... testing that has been ramped up as well as containment that has worked at the district level... However, it is not a sustainable solution; we have to find a mechanism for how we ease our containment, the lockdown, and that has to be done very gradually, and very slowly,” Bhargava said.

VK Paul, member (health), Niti Aayog, said the peak went up beyond estimates driven by very highly transmissible variants. “But now it has been a few weeks since we crossed the peak, and there is an overall downward trend. However, we cannot afford to drop our guard and have to continue taking precautions including wearing a mask, maintaining physical distancing and other Covid-appropriate behaviour.”

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Rhythma Kaul works as an assistant editor at Hindustan Times. She covers health and related topics, including ministry of health and family welfare, government of India.

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Thursday, January 27, 2022