Data | India’s COVID-19 testing declines sharply despite rising positivity rate

The variety of new COVID-19 circumstances in India recorded a major fall within the final 5 days after persistently breaching the 90,000 mark on a number of days in early September. The drop in circumstances could possibly be on account of a major lower within the variety of assessments performed.

In no less than 10 States, there was a pointy fall within the variety of assessments performed within the final 10 days regardless of a rise within the share of individuals testing constructive.

Rapid fall in assessments

Over the final 10 days, the variety of new COVID-19 assessments performed per million folks in India has been declining quickly. While the share of individuals testing constructive (positivity fee) has remained excessive and even elevated a little bit over the past 5 days, the variety of assessments per million folks dropped from 811 to 722 over the past 10 days. The share of constructive assessments is hovering across the 8.5% mark.

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Among States

Not all States recorded a decline in assessments. They might be categorised into three varieties primarily based on their latest testing ranges.

The dangerous: In Maharashtra and Assam, assessments are happening, whereas the share of constructive circumstances goes up. Using such a method would imply lacking loads of constructive circumstances.


Other States on this class embody Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, M.P., Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka.

The good: In T.N., assessments are going up, whereas the positivity fee goes down. Other States embody Delhi, Bihar, Jharkhand, Mizoram and W.B.


This is the perfect technique. Despite the positivity fee happening, assessments should be scaled up or maintained at a sure stage. Such an method is required as sero-surveys present that for each confirmed case, there have been 82-130 undetected infections in India.

Thus, the extra the assessments, the higher, whatever the positivity fee

Middling States: In Gujarat and Telangana, assessments are dropping, however the share of positives can also be happening. In these States, assessments ought to be maintained at a sure stage, if not elevated, to make sure that the share of positives doesn’t essentially go down on account of reducing testing ranges.

In Andhra Pradesh, assessments in addition to the share of positives are rising. Such States want to extend their testing ranges to seize extra positives. Nine different States are following this pattern: Haryana, J&Ok, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Meghalaya, U.P. and Kerala.

Last phrase

The positivity fee varies broadly primarily based on the strategy of testing. For occasion, over the previous seven days, 81% of assessments in Delhi have been Rapid Antigen Detection Tests (RADT), that are not as reliable as RT-PCR tests. RADTs can register as many as 50% ‘false negatives’.

The Hindu In Focus podcast | Do rapid antigen tests provide reliable enough data to track the pandemic?

In Tamil Nadu, RADTs usually are not used. Thus, whereas the positivity fee in T.N. could also be closest to the precise fee, the identical can’t be mentioned about Delhi. The share of RADTs in choose States is as follows: A.P. (54%), Chhattisgarh (68%), Karnataka (42%), W.B. (55%), Mizoram (25%), Nagaland (7%).

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