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Bihar Polls Done and Dusted, Covid-19 Management Remains a Concern: Centre

Image for representation.

Image for representation.

Bihar is undergoing one lakh tests everyday and has crossed one crore mark till now, however, only a fraction of the total tests are being done by the RT-PCR method which is the gold standard of testing.

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Sneha Mordani

A central team that visited Bihar on October 22 had warned of a spike in Covid-19 cases on Tuesday after the assembly elections in the state ended.

The three member team observed that Covid protocol in terms of wearing mask and social distancing were not being followed in the state, the Centre informed on the day of counting of votes.

Bihar is undergoing one lakh tests everyday and has crossed one crore mark till now, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan informed. However, a fraction of the total tests which is about 12 percent are being done by the RT-PCR method which is the gold standard of testing.

The trend indicates that if 88 percent of the tests being done in the state are antigen, then the positivity rate is expected to downplay as the antigen is less reliable than RT-PCR.

The Central Government had repeatedly said that the symptomatic individuals, who test negative on Antigen test should go for an RT-PCR repeat test.

The central body informed that the rules were not been followed and outside urban centres Covid appropriate behaviour were far from the satisfactory.

Bihar's Covid figures has taken experts by surprise. “Bihar alone has done more than one crore Covid-19 tests so far (10% of India's total tests) and still kept its test positive rate of less than 5% for over two months. It's 2% now. The decline seems to be sustaining. It's remarkable indeed for a resource poor state. But is this for real?" remarked Health economist Prof. Rijo John on twitter.

The state's average test positivity rate is about 2%, as it varies from 10 percent in Patna to 1 percent in many districts.

The Health Ministry has said that things look under control now but it may manifest itself in days or weeks to come.

"We had sent a central team because we were concerned of not only Bihar, but also in other states, where bypolls were being conducted and where we got reports that social distancing was not being followed, masks were not being worn." Rajesh Bhushan, Health Secretary, informed.

"There is a concern that in Bihar there will be an increase in cases over the next two weeks. We also have the festive season and Chhath Puja is also coming up, and I would request everyone to continue to follow the norms," Dr Randeep Guleria told News18 in an exclusive conversation.


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