MP's peak likely in July, drop in tests: Data

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Bhopal: Covid-19 infections in Madhya Pradesh were expected to peak around July, an analysis of the state health department has warned while highlighting a decrease in testing, widened geographical spread of the disease, and an increase in active cases as well as the positivity rate. “Virus is still around. There is no vaccine in the near future. The peak is expected around July,” said analysis based on data and trends available until May 27.

The analysis noted there was a surge in daily cases in the second half of May. “Geographical spread of the virus widened and active cases started increasing again. Besides, the positivity rate increased in the past 3 weeks... 12 districts with above 5% overall positivity rate,” it said. “The fatality rate was decreasing but the growth rate of deaths started to increase in the past 10 days [from 2.1% on May 15 to 2.4% on May 27]. There was a fatality rate of more than 5% in 9 districts...”

It said the number of cases continued to increase in May even as the rate of testing decreased. As many as 2,461 tests were conducted on May 1. They rose to 5,648 on May 16 but declined to 3,595 on May 27. After the analysis, 4,840 tests were conducted on May 28 and 6,126 tests on June 7, officials said.

With 2,872 tests per million population, Madhya Pradesh lags behind Maharashtra (4,909), Gujarat (4,168), and Rajasthan (7,385) as of Sunday. As of May 27, the national testing average was 2,345 per million population.

In the positivity rate, Madhya Pradesh (4.9% ) was the third-worst after Maharashtra and Gujarat. The state had the second-highest fatality rate in the country (4.3%) after Gujarat (6.2%).

“Active cases started growing again after May 10,” the analysis said. It said the infection has spread from 30 districts in early May to 51 districts as of May 27.

Health minister Narottam Mishra said the state has the highest recovery rate in the country--over 65%. “Only 2,735 Covid-19 patients are under treatment while our preparedness is for 80,000 beds...”

Public health expert Amulya Nidhi said Madhya Pradesh still needs a substantial increase in testing. “Instead, the number of tests, of late, was decreasing which is a matter of serious concern. ...the situation will worsen if the government does not strengthen its health facilities... If there is a marked improvement in the situation, as the government claims... why 21 more districts were affected since May 1 and why the number of Covid patients continues to increase.”

As per the health department bulletin on Sunday night, the state registered 9,401 Covid-19 cases, taking the tally to XXX. The mortality rate in Madhya Pradesh--4.38%-- is almost double that of the national rate of 2.80%.

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