COVID-19: Two weeks on, test positivity rate on the rise in Bihar

The TPR which rose to 17.77 % on July 11, has been above 11% since July 13; state has recorded 66.7% of its total cases over the past 10 days

Health experts allege the whole situation has come to this passé as the state government didn’t fully utilise the 70-day lockdown period to improve health facilities. Photo: PTI (Representational)

Bihar which of late has been seeing a single-day spike of almost 450-500 cases, has been witnessing an alarming rise in positivity rate over the last two weeks.

Currently, the test positivity rate (TPR) of the state stands at 6.59 per cent (as on July 18) against the national average of 6.59 per cent. TPR is calculated as the percentage of positive samples among the total tests conducted. It is one of the important parameters to gauge the spread of the infection in a specific region.

On July 10, the state recorded a TPR of 7.88 per cent increased to 17.77 per cent on July 11. Since July 13, the positivity rate has been above 11 per cent every day.

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The worst-hit states – Maharashtra, Telangana, and Delhi have reported TPR above 10 per cent — 19.6, 18.42, and 15.68 per cent respectively – during the same period. Gujarat (9.11 per cent) and Tamil Nadu (8.77 per cent), two other hotspot states have a higher TPR than Bihar.

Meanwhile, the testing rate of the state is low when compared to its population (11.95 crore). The state has so far tested 3.57 lakh samples of which 23,589 have been found positive. The state is testing only 301 samples per million population daily compared to Maharashtra which is testing 1,249 per million population and Tamil Nadu which is doing 24,830 tests per million population.

Currently, the total count of the cases in the state stands at 23,589 while the death toll remains at 201. The state saw a huge surge in the number of cases over the last two weeks.

Approximately half of the cases (46.7 per cent) or 11,019 cases were added over the last 10 days. An alarming increase in daily positivity rate is one of the reasons behind the sudden spike in number of cases.

The state has reported a recovery rate of 62 per cent as a total of 14,621 patients have been discharged while 8,767 are currently undergoing treatment. The recovery rate of the country at the same time is 62.9 per cent while Delhi has reported the highest recovery rate of 82.68 per cent.

The suspiciously lower death count is one concern to be looked at in Bihar. The state has reported only 201 deaths while the death rate stands at 0.9 per cent compared to 2.5 per cent in the country. Gujarat has reported the highest death rate at 4.54 per cent. The lower death count can be attributed to the lesser number tests and subsequently, underreporting of the COVID 19 cases.

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