COVID-19 positivity rate in Bengaluru increases after two months

Days after relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions, it was business as usual at Sunday bazaar on BVK Iyengar Road in Bengaluru.   | Photo Credit: K. MURALI KUMAR

The COVID-19 positivity rate in Bengaluru, which had fallen in the last two months, is on the rise again. According to data provided by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) war room, the positivity rate from October 1 to 10 is 14.53%.

Positivity rate is the percentage of people testing positive for every hundred tests conducted. After reaching a high of 24.15% in July, the positivity rate fell to 13.45% in August and 12.79% in September. Officials had hoped that the downward trend would continue, but this does not seem to be the case. Since the start of October, the number of people contracting COVID-19 has been on the rise, with daily figures crossing the 5,000 mark several times.

COVID-19 positivity rate in Bengaluru increases after two months

C. Nagaraj, Director of the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases (RGICD) and State task force member, said the increase could be attributed to better contact tracing efforts by teams on the ground. “Earlier, primary contacts of positive patients would be reluctant to be tested for COVID-19 unless they had symptoms. But now, as patients can stay under home isolation, they are willing to get tested earlier. This is partly responsible for the high positivity rate,” he said.

According to Giridhar R. Babu, member, State’s COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee, peripheral zones such as R.R. Nagar and Mahadevapura are seeing a surge in cases which coincides with the complete relaxation of restrictions.

However, civic officials said the positivity rate is directly linked to the number of tests conducted.

Hephsiba Rani Korlapati, BBMP war room special officer, said that every city has multiple peaks and lows. “This fortnight positivity rate has increased. Whenever we see a surge in the positivity rate, we quickly ramp up testing further,” she said. She also said that the ramping up of testing is majorly dependent on the overall trend and logistics availability.

N. Manjunath Prasad, BBMP Commissioner, said there was a need to increase testing, which would further reduce the positivity rate. “So far, on an average we are conducting 38,000 tests per day and it needs to be increased to 50,000. All cities that have reduced their positivity rate have ramped up their testing to a great extent,” he said.

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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 7:56:45 AM |

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