Jammu: From every 70th person testing positive at the beginning of the year, now, every 5th person tested is being found infected with SARS-CoV2 in J&K, data from Srinagar based testing laboratories show.
The shooting cases are fuelling the fatality while putting a major strain on healthcare facilities here.
J&K has already added over 40,000 new cases to its tally in May while 443 deaths have taken place. J&K Government’s official data on the pandemic shows that from 01 to 09 May, 384480 COVID19 tests were carried out.
Of these, 40849 samples were found positive for SARS-CoV2. The positive percentage of these samples, taken from across the 20 districts of the two divisions, is roughly 11 percent.
The tests, as per the Government, are carried out both on RT-PCR equipment as well as Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) Kits.
However, when data from RT-PCR conducting labs is analysed, the positive percentage jumps to over 20 percent.
The report citing figures of GMC Srinagar, on 09 May 342 out of 1492 samples – __ percent were found positive, 08 May, 255 out of 1183 – 21 percent were positive; on 07 May 302 out 1692 – 18 percent positive; on 06 May 368 out of 1479 were positive – 24 percent; on 05 May, out of the 1240 samples tested, 248 were found positive – 20.3 percent.
Further, on 04 May, there were 1084 samples tested of which 284 – 26.2 percent positive; 03 May, 361 out of 1275 samples were found positive – 28.3 percent ; 02 May, 491 samples, out of 1398 tested were found positive – 35 percent.
By these numbers, at least every 5th person whose sample is tested on RT PCR is found infected with COVID19.
A senior medico at SKIMS Soura said a similar trend had been seen with the samples being tested at that lab. He however said numbers could not be shared.
“At times, we find that every third person tested is infected with SARS-CoV2,” a technical officer at GMC Srinagar said. He said it was a stark contrast to the positive percentage seen at the beginning of the year or even in April. “Just last month, we had a positive percentage of around 5,” he said.
The official said that much of the sampling now is targeted. He said decreased random sampling was being carried out. The officer said that the disparity between RT-PCR and RAT positive percentage was conforming to the trend.
“We often see half of the positive cases being missed on RAT and that’s how we have 11 percent positive percentage overall where much of the tests are only RAT,” he said.
The fast and widespread transmission of the virus has the hospitals in the UT filling up now. In the past nine days, the number of admitted patients has jumped from 878 to 3009. The active cases have also increased from 28359 to 49248.
The virus has been more fatal now than any time before during the pandemic. As per official figures, 443 people have already lost lives in the five days May, twice the number of the entire month of April.
Although the J & K Health department has been increasing the space and infrastructure allocated for the management of the escalating load, the tertiary care hospitals in Kashmir are almost full to capacity. Kashmir is also witnessing a shrinking of vacant ICU beds.