Curve plummets; experts say not a true reflection

File Photo. Aman Farooq/GK

The curve of daily reported cases of COVID19 plummeted today in J&K, but experts believe there is more to numbers than what appears.

From Sunday, there was a drop of 246 cases on Monday. A health official said between Sunday and Monday, 15834 tests were carried out in J&K of which 632 were found positive. With these numbers, the positive percentage of samples is nearly 4 percent. However, today’s positive percentage was an exception in the trend that has been observed over the past week.

As per official data, between 28 September and 5 October, one week, 1,41,731 samples were tested. Of these, 6724 were found positive. The positive percentage during this week, spanning over the tail end of September and beginning of October has been 6.8 percent.

In the week prior to that, between 21 September and 28 September, 1,66,242 samples were tested, 7988 of them testing positive. Although the number of new cases detected during this week was more, the positive percentage was lower – 4.8 percent.

Prof Parvaiz A Koul, head department of internal and pulmonary medicine at SKIMS Soura and influenza expert, said the drop in the number of positive cases was welcome but not a “true reflection” of the extent of spread of infection in the community. “We need to have a sero-study for that,” he said. Prof Koul expressed apprehensions that many positive cases might be missed out due to the limitations in testing. “We have seen with recent sero-prevalence studies, the absolute number of positives is much more, maybe 8 times more in our scenario, than what we are able to detect,” he said.

He however expressed satisfaction with the fact that there has not been any drastic increase in the number of severely sick patients getting admitted to hospitals. “We have learnt many things over these months and perhaps the most important one is that mildly sick patients can and should be managed at home,” he said.

A recent sero-prevalence study carried out in Pulwama by Indian Council of Medical Research in collaboration with GMC Srinagar showed that over 27 percent of people in the district had been infected with COVID19 in the past and had recovered from the infection.

Official data states that Pulwama has only 4067 patients of COVID19 till date.