Coronavirus | Test positivity rate in Telangana up by over 100%

The COVID testng camp organised by the GHMC for migrant labourers.   | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal

The test positivity rate (TPR) in Telangana has increased by 100% in over one and half month indicating the higher prevalence of COVID-19 in the State. The test positivity rate, which is percentage of samples that tested positive, was around 5.2% on April 28. This increased to 12.9% on June 1.

Suggesting the way forward, epidemiologists suggested that preventing deaths should be the goal apart from surveillance on influenza-like illness (ILI),

“Early identification of poor oxygen saturation is important for referral to centres with high flow oxygen,” said Giridhara R Babu, professor and head of Lifecourse Epidemiology at Indian Institute of Public Health (IIPH), Bengaluru.

According to the official information from the State Health department, of the 19063 coronavirus tests performed till April 28, 1009 samples tested positive. The test positivity rate was 5.2%. And 50,569 tests were performed till June 19 and 6526 samples tested positive. The positivity rate is 12.9%.

The data on number of tests in a day has been mentioned in the medical bulletin only in the past four days. According to it, test positivity rate per day in the past four days ranged between 17% and 24.5%.

Another epidemiologist, on condition of anonymity, said that the data should be categorised into positivity rate among asymptomatics and symptomatics to know what steps should be taken.

The State government has undertaken to perform 50,000 coronavirus tests from Monday, which is slated to be completed by June 25. One objective of ramping up the the tests is to know prevalence of the disease. Going by the testing rates, more testing is bringing out more cases. On June 19, 499 cases were detected in a day which, is highest till now.

The tests are conducted 1) in containment zones 2) on contacts of positive cases 3) on frontline staff involved in COVID-19 management 4) on those with symptoms 5) on those who need the test before a medical procedure such as delivery.

Dr Giridhar said the increase in test positivity rate, given the constant surveillance mechanisms, indicated that the State was witnessing higher prevalence of COVID-19.

“At this stage, weekly survey of ILI should be conducted in the community and isolate all symptomatics. Quarantining of contacts should take precedence over all other measures. Strict compliance of non-pharmacological interventions should be implemented,” Dr Giridhara Babu said.

BR Shamanna, professor of Public Health, School of Medical Sciences, University of Hyderabad, too said that safe distance, hygiene and healthy lifestyle were way forward till at least the year-end.

State Health Minister Eatala Rajender on Monday said they received permission to recruit more health workers to conduct fever survey.

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Printable version | Jun 16, 2021 6:27:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/test-positivity-rate-up-by-over-100/article31879586.ece

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