Covid: Positivity rates show Himachal, Delhi as hotspots

Covid: Positivity rates show Himachal, Delhi as hotspots

NEW DELHI: Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana, Kerala and Goa, in that order, are the current coronavirus hotspots with high positivity rates (confirmed cases per 100 tests) – between 10% to over 15% – measured over two 14-day periods between October 26-November 8 and November 8-21.
These states have shown an increase in positivity rate that indicates more people are infected and fewer tests are taking place. The exceptions are Kerala, Goa and West Bengal where the disease has somewhat slowed compared to last month, but they still remain in the danger zone. Maharashtra, with a positivity rate of 8% over the last fortnight, has shown major improvement as it consistently hovered around 18% during the past few months.
The number of confirmed cases in West Bengal and Chhattisgarh has been slowing down but, nonetheless, the two states have positivity rate above 7-8%. Relaxation in lockdown measures in these states remains risky as a WHO advisory says a positivity rate of 5% and above over a 14-day period puts a state in the red zone.

High positivity rates are also indicative that a state is only testing the sickest and not screening enough population for Covid-19 symptoms, resulting in more critical cases and deaths. Tracing and testing are key to containment of the pandemic.
Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Karnataka have made good progress, bringing down their positivity rate from 3-4% to below 3%. Gujarat is among the states with positivity rate of 2% and below, but it has shown a rising trend of cases over last fortnight. In Madhya Pradesh, the rate has gone up from 2.7% (during October 26-November 8) to 4.3% over the last fortnight (November 8-21). Similarly, in Gujarat, it has gone up from 1.8% to 2.1% during this period. It is increasing in UP and Jharkhand, too, but within manageable limits. Bihar and Assam have one of the lowest positivity rates, below 1%, raising doubts on the accuracy of testing with a large migrant population travelling in and out of these states.
A month ago, states with highest positivity rate (between October 5-18) were Maharashtra (15%), Kerala (14%), Chhattisgarh (10%), Rajasthan (10%), Karnataka and West Bengal at 9% each.
Andhra Pradesh, MP, Odisha, Delhi and Tamil Nadu had positivity rate higher than 5%.

Asia