COVID-19 test positivity crosses 55% in Mysuru

Even though COVID-19 cases have begun showing a dip over the last few days in Mysuru, the test positivity rate (TPR) soared to an unprecedented high of 55% in the district for the last two successive days.

COVID-19 test positivity crosses 55% in Mysuru

While the results declared on Sunday (May 16) showed 1,980 samples had tested positive out of the total 3,550 samples, the results of Monday (May 17) showed that 1,916 samples had tested positive out of the total 3,439. The TPR of 55.71% on Monday and 55.77% on Sunday respectively was preceded by a TPR of 42.2% on Saturday, 42.1% on Friday, 42% on Thursday, and 40.5% on Wednesday. The high TPR in Mysuru has not only sent alarm bells ringing in certain quarters, but also had the twitterati sharing the screenshots and links of the Mysuru COVID-19 war room data.

The gradual increasing trend in TPR recorded earlier in the week and the sharp rise to 55.3% on Sunday contrasts with a decline in the number of fresh cases reported every day. From an unprecedented 3,500 new cases reported on April 30, the numbers have gradually declined to less than 2,000 per day over the last two weeks.

But, the decrease in the number of daily COVID-19 positive cases reported by the authorities has also coincided with a sharp decline in the number of daily tests - from more than 6,000 till around April end to around 3,500 per day at present.

Mysore Sanjeev, convener of Jeevan Raksha, a public-private partnership initiative, which is analysing COVID-19 trends across the country, said that in a pandemic, testing could be used as a weapon to fight against the virus or it could be used to “window dress” the gravity of the situation, cautioning against the latter.

But, officials reasoned that the testing was more ‘targeted’ now unlike the ‘mass’ testing earlier when teams of officials were carrying out tests at colleges, factories, malls and industries. “Now, it is targeted testing for people having symptoms or primary contacts. People are coming for tests when they have symptoms. Hence, the incidence is higher”, said an official of Mysuru City Corporation.

Deputy Commissioner of Mysuru Rohini Sindhuri, in a recent interaction with reporters, said daily testing target was cut to half by the State government after it was brought to notice of State-level officials that about 25 to 30% of cases during the second wave were going undetected by RT-PCR method. Most patients with false negatives were later developing lung infections and succumbing to COVID-19, she said.

Ms. Sindhuri, who argued that the condition of a lot of COVID-19 patients was worsening due to their delay in seeking medical assistance, said people should begin medical treatment and isolate themselves appropriately soon after the onset of symptoms.

Instead of waiting for a COVID-19 test and subsequently for the results, which eats into the early 5 to 7 days from the onset of symptoms, Ms. Sindhuri said early intervention was the key for which the district administration had started the concept of COVID Mitras. All the 125-150 primary health centres (PHCs) in the district, besides the hospitals and COVID Care Centres, had been declared COVID Mitras, where people with symptoms can just walk in even without an RTPCR test and consult health officials for suitable medical treatment.

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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 8:58:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/covid-19-test-positivity-rate-crosses-55-in-mysuru/article34588803.ece

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