NEW DELHI: Considerably high Covid-19 testing positivity rates (TPR) in Maharashtra, Telangana and Delhi have raised concerns that the disease is silently spreading through the population at a much more alarming rate than acknowledged by the governments, and these states are yet to reach optimal testing rates to contain the contagion.
The crucial indicator from these states also signals that the epidemic is far from being over in spite of the very high incidence of the infectious disease already. According to the government figures, the seven-day average TPR for Telangana — at 19 per cent — is the highest in the country. It means that 19 of every 100 people being tested for the infection have been found positive over the past week.
This rate is 18.2 for Maharashtra and 16.1 for Delhi — the two other states that have seen a very high disease burden. This indicator for all other states, on the other hand, is well below 10 per cent, while the country’s overall TPR is less than 9.
Epidemiologist Dr Jammi N Rao, who has worked with the ICMR-Hyderabad in the past, said: “The reasons could be either there are a greater number of cases in the community so that, all other things being equal, more tests are correctly identifying the greater number of cases or more of the tests are now being done on people with obvious symptoms of Covid-19.”