Centre asks Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Delhi to ramp up testing

by Times of India

The Centre has asked



Andhra Pradesh



and Delhi to ramp up testing as the positivity rate in these states continues to be significantly higher than the national average of 8.4% .

An analysis of daily average of new cases week-on-week in the top five states showed that Maharashtra and

Uttar Pradesh

were adding more cases, while numbers had stabilised over the last three weeks in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. There were also initial signs of decline in

Tamil Nadu

, the government said.

The positivity rate was highest in Maharashtra at 21.5% and the state has so far tested around 51.73 lakh samples. Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka had positivity rate of over 12% whereas Delhi had a rate of 8.9%. A sustained high positivity rate points to not only the need for more testing but also carrying out

contact tracing

and isolation. Laxity towards measures like using masks is also fuelling the pandemic.

“The number of tests conducted by states has to be seen in tandem with the positivity rate reported by them. If in spite of largescale testing, a state is seeing higher positivity, it needs to ramp up testing further,” health secretary

Rajesh Bhushan


Overall, India has conducted 5.8 crore tests so far, while the number of infected cases has touched almost 50 lakh and deaths have hit 81,331. India’s 58 million tests are behind the US with 92 million and China with 160 million. Its test per million population average is 42,000.

The Centre again pointed to the infection burden being concentrated in a few states. Five states — Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu — continue to account for 60% of total active cases.

Four states — Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh — have more than 50,000 active cases. On the other hand, 18 states have 5,000-50,000 active cases, while 14 states and UTs have less than 5,000 active cases.

Similarly, for deaths, Maharashtra and UP are seeing rise in average daily deaths week-on-week, while Karnataka is showing some stability. Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have shown early signs of decline in daily deaths over the last three weeks.

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