Testing tripled, more cases traced in September: Govt

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Government has attributed the September rise in the number of COVID19 cases to ‘massive testing’ carried out here in the last two weeks.

Nearly 19000 new cases of COVID19 have been confirmed in the past two weeks. During this period, 303898 COVID19 tests have been carried out here. Positive percentage in the past two weeks in J&K has been 6.2, a jump of two percent from July. In August the positive percentage was just over 5. Towards the fag end of July, the positive percentage of samples was 4.

Financial Commissioner Health and Medical Education, Atal Dulloo said that there has been steep rise in the number of tests being carried out in the two divisions of J&K. “In the past couple of weeks, we have been doing at least three times the number of tests daily as we were doing in August,” he said.

He said Rapid Antigen Tests have made it possible to test thousands of people in a short span of time. “Earlier, in July, our testing was about 1000 per day, which we increased to around 10,000 in August and now it has been taken to around 20,000,” he said.

He said on some days, over 25000 tests have also been done.

While Kashmir division has been witnessing a comparatively slow rise in cases, in Jammu division there has been a vertical growth of cases in September. Officials in health and medical education attributed the rise in the cases in Jammu to “better tracing and more testing”.

The average daily number of new cases confirmed in a day this month has been 1266. This is a high jump from the average number of cases confirmed in the last two weeks of August, which averaged around 550.

Dulloo said that despite the manifold increase in testing, the number of positives has not risen dramatically. “The average percentage of positives has remained around 4 percent even while we move on to newer sections of populations,” he said adding that it was lower than the all-India average.

As per official data, 225336 Rapid Antigen Tests have been carried out in Kashmir division alone till date. These tests are being carried out extensively at the government offices, across residential localities and other establishments, in addition to road and air entry points.