Over 15% positivity rate in 24 states, says Centre
Twenty-four Indian states have reported a test positivity rate of more than 15 percent for COVID-19 over the past week, the central government said on Friday. Further, at least 30 districts showed a "steep upward trend" in new coronavirus cases over the last two weeks. Positivity rate is the percentage of coronavirus tests that turn out positive. Here are more details.
7 states reported positivity rate at 30% or above
Of the 24, seven states reported a "very high" positivity rate of 30 percent or more over the past week. They are Goa (48.5%), Haryana (36.1%), Puducherry (34.9%), West Bengal (33.1%), and Karnataka, Delhi, and Rajasthan (nearly 29% each). Only three states have a positivity rate of less than five percent while nine have a positivity rate between 5-15%, the government said.
'A cause of concern for the country'
"Case positivity is an important indicator that shows how the cases are spread across (the country)...The high positivity is the cause of concern for us and the country," said Arti Ahuja, Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Health.
Cases rising sharply in southern India, data suggests
Ahuja further informed that twelve states and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir were showing a "continued increasing trend" in daily new COVID-19 cases. The states include Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Bihar, Haryana, and Punjab, Assam, and Himachal Pradesh, among others. Meanwhile, of the 30 districts that reported an upward trend in cases, 20 are in southern India.
10 of 30 worst-hit districts are in Kerala
Of the 30 districts mentioned by the Centre, 10 are in Kerala, seven in Andhra Pradesh, and three in Karnataka. Two districts each of Haryana, West Bengal, and Maharashtra are also a part of the list.
The COVID-19 crisis in India
This morning, India reported more than 4 lakh new COVID-19 cases for the third straight day. With 4,187 more fatalities - India registered its deadliest day in the outbreak yet. Further, the country's handling of the second wave of the pandemic has been marred by an overburdened health infrastructure and acute shortages of necessary equipment including medical oxygen and medicines.
Third wave may not happen if strong measures taken: Expert
India's second wave peak is expected in the coming few days, according to experts. But several of them have already warned of a plausible third wave of the pandemic, that could be even deadlier. However, Dr. K VijayRaghavan, the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Prime Minister, has said that a third wave may not hit India if strong measures are taken.