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Maharashtra Covid-19 Positivity Rate Worsens to Double in Only 10 Days, Authorities Blame Low Testing

Image for representation. (Image: AP)

Image for representation. (Image: AP)

A rise in positivity rate is an indicator of continued transmission and inadequate tests being carried out in a region. The state on Tuesday had revealed how the rate in districts, particularly from Vidarbha was exceptionally high.

Just as Maharashtra was starting to stabilise after reeling continuously under the Covid-19 storm, positivity rate in the state has again climbed to near double digits.

According to a report by The Times of India, till February 5, daily positivity rate was within 5%, which has nearly doubled in the last week. From 4.8% on February 4, it jumped to 6.9% on February 10 and to 8% by February 14. On February 15 and 16, the state’s daily positivity remained over 9%.

A rise in positivity rate is an indicator of continued transmission and inadequate tests being carried out in a region. The state on Tuesday had revealed how the rate in districts, particularly from Vidarbha was exceptionally high. For instance, Amravati was 56 percent, Bhandara was 26 percent, Akola had a positivity rate of 22 percent, while in Buldhana it was 26.5 percent. In other regions too, such as Sindhudurg, positivity rate was 44 percent.

Dr Subhash Salunkhe, member of state’s technical committee, who is monitoring the situation in Vidarbha, told TOI, “There are reasons for it. Primary one is contact tracing and tracking has slacked and that impacts samples tested,”

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The state had seen daily positivity of up to 22 percent in September.

Analysis of testing numbers for early February had shown 14-15 districts were conducting fewer than 500 tests in a day. Abysmal decline was observed in districts such as Parbhani, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg, where on certain days 200 samples were tested in the district.

Testing has to be scaled up manifold and swiftly, said experts.

first published:February 18, 2021, 09:43 IST