Positivity rate in J&K doubles in March

Hospital bed occupancy doubles in 2 weeks
File Photo: Aman Farooq/Gk
File Photo: Aman Farooq/Gk

With COVID19 surging, J&K's positive percentage has doubled in the month of March. While 4519 new cases were reported in the month gone by, the hospital bed occupancy saw an increase of over 100 percent.

In March, J&K Government ordered pushing up of testing. Deputy Commissioners have been directed to ensure at least 1500 tests are carried out in a day in every district. As a result, in the previous month 849922 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 of samples in March was 0.5 percent approximately – of every 200 people tested, 1 was found positive.

In the month of February, 677465 tests were carried out. Of these, 1992 were found positive. The positive percentage of samples in February was nearly half of that of March – 0.3 percent.

However, in the past fortnight, between 15 March and 31 March, J&K saw an increase in testing and a steep rise in cases. The official bulletin reported 470087 tests were carried out during this period. Of this number of samples, 3226 were found positive. The positive percentage in the last two weeks of March was recorded as 0.7 percent, analysis of the data reveals.

The steep rise in positive percentage from 0.3 percent in February to 0.7 percent in the last two weeks of March reveals the spread of COVID19 in J&K. The majority of the cases are being reported from Kashmir division.

Till date, 6051587 samples have been tested in J&K of which a total of 130960 were found infected with SARS-CoV2 (upto 31 March). The overall positive percentage of samples in J&K has stood around 2.4 percent.

The overall positive percentage of samples, a senior health official said, is higher than the positive percentage in the recent months due to higher number of Rapid Antigen Tests being used. "Earlier, we were only testing symptomatic people and those with contact history and that had given much higher positive percentage," he said.

With the number of cases rising, the pressure on hospital beds has also increased. In the past two weeks, the number of hospital beds occupied in Kashmir division has moved up from 66 to 139. In SKIMS Soura, the number of admitted patients has increased to 42 on 31 March from 22 on 15 March. Similarly, in Chest Diseases Hospital, the number rose from 17 patients on 15 March to 45 on 31 March. Pertinently, hospital admission is now made only for patients with severe symptoms of COVID19. Currently, there are 2531 active cases of COVID19 in J&K, a majority of them under home isolation. Many doctors have expressed concern over the rising number of patients requiring admission.

The overall number of travelers found positive has also been on rise in the recent weeks, however, the percentage of travelers positive out of the total is constantly around 10 percent.

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