With J&K testing over 40,000 samples a day, the number of positive cases is expected to rise in the coming days, the UT government said. In order to increase the proportion of samples tested on RT-PCR, new equipment has been installed at SKIMS Soura to process 3000 samples a day.
Last week, COBAS 680, a German technology was installed at SKIMS Soura. The equipment manufactured by Roche, is one among 20 procured by India for fully automated RT-PCR tests for COVID19. It is expected to give results of 3000 samples in a day, Financial Commissioner Health and Medical Education, Atal Dulloo said.
He said the Government was taking steps to increase the number of samples processed on RT-PCR to get a better picture of the pandemic scenario in J&K and for better diagnosis, especially in symptomatic cases. The widely used RAT tests have met criticism over the higher chances of a false negative.
With Government ordering a ramp of testing in March, currently, the FC said, around 40,000 samples are tested and reported every 24 hours in J&K.
On Tuesday, 39,657 samples were reported by the official bulletin of the Government. Of these, 561 were found positive. Dulloo said the number of positive cases will be proportionate to the number of tests carried out. "If we tested around 25,000 samples in March, the number of positives was around 300. Now, with 15,000 more tests, naturally, we will have an increase in numbers," he said. He said the positive percentage among the tested samples was the same irrespective of the number of tests carried out. "We have a positive percentage of around 1.2 percent currently," he said.
However, over the month of March and April, there has been an alarming increase in the number of cases, disproportionate with the testing data.
In the month of April, 2,34,426 testes have been carried out in J&K of which 3055 were found positive. The positive percentage in the month of April, as per official data is 1.3 percent. In the month of March, 8,49,922 tests were carried out in J&K as per the media bulletin issued by the Government. Of these, 4519 were reported positive, the positive percentage thus 0.5 percent approximately. In less than a month, the positive percentage has doubled. A concerning rise in positive percentage over the past few weeks, as per health officials, reflects the spread of SARS-CoV2 infection in the community.
Significant rise in the number of travelers has also been witnessed over the past week. While as official figures showed the percentage of travelers among the positive cases to be around 10 percent in March, it has increased in April. On Tuesday, 135 of the total 561 new cases were travelers.