With a recovery rate of 88.98%, Bihar ahead of other states on Covid-19 parameters
Bihar has a reason to be hopeful over its management of the Covid-19 health crisis. At six deaths per million, it ranks the best in this category. Kerala and Assam, with 10 deaths per million each, are next, according to government data released on Tuesday.
Bihar’s test positivity rate was also the lowest at 0.9%, followed by Gujarat (1.8%) and Uttar Pradesh (4.3%) on September 8.
The growth rate for Covid-19 cases in Bihar is the lowest at 1.3% at par with Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, against a national average of 2.14% in the week ending September 8.
Some other states like Maharashtra, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have a few things to ponder over.
At 10,343 cases per million, Delhi ranked the highest, followed by Andhra Pradesh (9,363) and Maharashtra (7,500).
Delhi also ranked highest in terms of Covid-19 deaths per million (246), followed by Maharashtra (219) and Tamil Nadu (102).
Bihar has been able to shed the ignominy of being the state with lowest tests per million — a position it had occupied till early August — with the ramping up of testing facilities after July 27, when Pratyaya Amrit was posted as the principal secretary of Bihar’s health department.
On Monday, Bihar tested 1,53,156 lakh samples, the highest in a day so far, with the average daily testing hovering over 1 lakh tests since August 13. The increased testing had led to a decline in its tests’ positivity rate.
Most tests being done were rapid antigen-based, which had up to 40% probability of giving false negative results.
The Centre has already advised states to mandatorily do RT-PCR tests of Covid-19 symptomatic people, testing negative on rapid antigen kit. However, many states were not following this practice, leaving out missing cases, said a senior officer of the health ministry.
Bihar, for instance, had done reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests of only 6.55% (9,901) samples out of the total 1,51,033 tested on September 5. Rapid antigen tests accounted for 1,36,870, while another 4,262 tests were done on TrueNat machines.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had on May 19 revised its testing guidelines to allow the use of the TrueNat system for screening and confirmation of Covid-19. The test uses a person’s nose or throat swab samples. The nucleic acid extracted from the sample has to be followed by an RT-PCR.
Unlike traditional RT-PCR tests, the sample preparation in TrueNAT tests is automated, and the results are available within half an hour.
Only 3.11% (1,364) institutional beds were utilised out of the total 43,748 Covid-19 isolation beds available at different levels, while 14,401 patients were under home isolation as per government data of September 5.
Bihar’s case recovery rate was 88.98% as against the national average of 77.65% on Tuesday. Health officials were not willing to come on record.