NEW DELHI: The Covid-19 positivity rate has stabilised at around 8% over the last fortnight even as daily testing has increased by almost 10 times as compared to last month. This has resulted in India crossing a total of over three crore samples tested cumulatively.
Despite the surge in testing, the growth factor in new cases (everyday’s new cases divided by the previous day’s cases) has also remained largely constant at around 1 percentage point while the overall active cases and fatality rate have started declining. Values of less than one are read as a decline. The daily positivity rate on Sunday dropped to 7.9% with 57,981 new cases detected. The cumulative rate has been hovering around 8.8%.
As cumulative testing more than doubled in last one month from 1.2 crore samples on July 14 to more than three crore on August 16, the positivity rate — indicating the total burden of infection as against samples tested rose from 7.5% to 8.8%. There were several days when it breached 10% and touched 13%. In that context, a stable rate of 8% in the past two weeks is better news.
The aim, however, is to progressively reduce the positivity rate to 5%. States like Pudducherry, Maharashtra, Goa, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal with much higher positivity rate than national average are being watched closely, an official said.
The health ministry believes a higher number of tests is detecting more cases and that the numbers can be expected to even out if measures such as prompt isolation, tracking and timely clinical management are implemented effectively besides a degree of public compliance in mask use and social distancing.
Daily testing has increased to an average of over eight lakh samples everyday from less than one lakh in beginning of July. “We will soon achieve 10 lakh tests per day with a focus on states where the positivity continues to be more than 10%,” an official said.


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