Thursday, March 23rd, 2023

What do the current data on Covid-19 show?

Anecdotal evidence has been increasing about a new spread of coronavirus infections. More people seem to be falling sick with Covid-19 than in the recent past. However, almost no one is ending up in hospital. One, there has been no exponential rise in the trajectory of the active case. On Friday, the number stood at 1,01,830 cases; this is slightly lower than the previous two weeks. Active cases were at 1,23,535 on August 12, and 1,35,364 on August 5. Two, the weekly positivity rate has not increased. On Friday, the weekly positivity rate stood at 3.90% compared to 4.88% reported last Friday (August 12).  Three, granular data being analyzed by the Health Ministry show that in the first week of August, 144 districts reported positivity of more than 10%, indicating the potential for the virus to spread to other parts of the country. The nine districts of Delhi, neighboring Gautam Budh Nagar, Kolkata, and Pune were among the large urban clusters reporting more than 10% positivity.  

Mumbai has seen a bump in cases over the last three days, and test positivity touched 10.3% on Thursday. 

Mumbai has seen a bump in cases over the last three days, and test positivity touched 10.3% on Thursday. Four, even though urban clusters have seen a case bump, testing levels nationally have remained at the same level for the past two weeks. During August 13-19, India conducted 23.35 lakh tests; this number was 23.76 lakh during August 6-12. More significantly, granular data for the first week of August show as many as 423 districts were reporting test positivity rates below 5%; However, a very large number of tests were Rapid Antigen Tests. In order to understand the real spread of the infection, it is essential that both the testing rate and RT-PCR testing, considered the gold standard, are increased.  

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