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COVID: Positivity rate doubles in March, pressure mounts on testing labs

COVID: Positivity rate doubles in March, pressure mounts on testing labs
The positive percentage of samples in March was 0.5 percent approximately – of every 200 people tested, 1 was found positive

Jammu: The positivity rate in Jammu and Kashmir has been doubled in the month of March as compared to earlier.                

“4519 were reported positive out of 849922 tests conducted in the month of March. The positive percentage of samples in March was 0.5 percent approximately – of every 200 people tested, 1 was found positive,” an official said.   

In the month of February, 677465 tests were carried out. Of these, 1992 were found positive. The positive percentage of samples in February was nearly half of that of March – 0.3 percent.

However, in the past fortnight, between 15 March and 31 March, J&K saw an increase in testing and a steep rise in cases. The official bulletin reported 470087 tests were carried out during this period. Of this number of samples, 3226 were found positive. The positive percentage in the last two weeks of March was recorded as 0.7 percent, analysis of the data reveals.

The steep rise in positive percentage from 0.3 percent in February to 0.7 percent in the last two weeks of March reveals the spread of COVID19 in J&K. The majority of the cases are being reported from Kashmir division.

Till date, 6051587 samples have been tested in J&K of which a total of 130960 were found infected with SARS-CoV2 (upto 31 March). The overall positive percentage of samples in J&K has stood around 2.4 percent.

The overall positive percentage of samples, a senior health official said, is higher than the positive percentage in the recent months due to higher number of Rapid Antigen Tests being used. “Earlier, we were only testing symptomatic people and those with contact history and that had given much higher positive percentage,” he said.

Another official said that the labs are over burdened with the samples. “Over 2000 RT-PCR samples are still pending in the labs in the last two days. The labs are working under pressure and they need more staff and strategy to handle the situation.”

Principal, Government Medical College, Jammu, Dr Shashi Sudan told Greater Kashmir that the pressure on the labs has increased and they have decided to increase strength in labs.

Presently, she said, the samples are being tested in seven labs in Jammu i.e., Government Medical College, Jammu, IIIM, three new Medical Colleges, Command Hospital, and Batra Hospital, Sidhra. “We are planning to increase testing capacity at IIIM,” she responded.

 

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