The case for widespread testing

4 months ago 25
google news

The states that have been the worst hit by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) — particularly Delhi, Maharashtra and Gujarat — are also the ones that have tested higher than the national average and have reported higher per-capita infections and deaths, according to an HT analysis of testing data in the 10 worst-hit regions, highlighting the need for widespread testing.

Another worrying trend emerges that a majority of these states have seen a rise in positivity rate (percentage of tests that are positive) in the past few weeks, despite no major spike in their rates of testing.

Delhi, which has the highest testing numbers among the states here, has also reported the highest cases and deaths per million (1,262 and 33 respectively). Both are around seven times the national average of 360 and 2.9 respectively.

 

Maharashtra has also conducted 4,177 tests per million, significantly more than the national average of 3,291. Compared to the national average it has 3.9 times the number of cases per million (637) and 4.7 times (22) the number of deaths per million.

While most of these states have not massively increased their testing in the past few weeks, their positivity rates have been steadily increasing. In Delhi, for instance, the positivity rate has tripled (from 6.5% to nearly 20%) in five weeks, while the average weekly tests have only grown 1.6 times in the same period. In Maharashtra, tests have increased by 1.6 times, positivity rate has doubled.

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