Andhra Pradesh crossed an important milestone on Thursday. Ever since the first coronavirus case was detected on March 12, it has conducted 5,10,318 tests and ramped up its testing ability to over 10,000 a day. It is an appreciable achievement if one considers the fact that the state had to rely on testing facilities in Pune and Hyderabad in the initial days.
Alongside contact tracing, the state has used the lockdown period effectively to activate primary health centres, set up 17 testing labs, increase the bed strength of hospitals, and stock up on an adequate number of ventilators.
Simultaneously, it has set in motion the process of recruiting nearly 10,000 medical staff including assistant professors, assistant surgeons, staff nurses and paramedical staff.
Till date, 5,429 cases have been detected and of them, 2,968 patients have been successfully treated while 2,381 are still under treatment. Overall, 80 people have lost their lives. The mortality rate is 1.47 per cent , well below the national average of 2.83 per cent , and the positivity rate is 1.06 per cent . The cause of concern, however, is the recovery rate at 54.67 per cent . It was 63.49 per cent on June 2. Of late, the number of cases per day too is going up from anywhere between 100 and 200.
Perhaps, the reason for it is the increased social intercourse with the gradual lifting of the lockdown and flow of people from other states. Under the circumstances, we cannot afford complacency. Though there have been complaints that Andhra is not allowing free inter-state movement, the government is right to be cautious since the neighbouring states have been witnessing an upward trend in the number of positive cases.
Going forward, officials estimate the number of cases could go up to 40,000 in a couple of months. Hence, the onus is as much on the people as on the government. Without public awareness and cooperation, the curve cannot be flattened. It is imperative that we do not let the guard down. After all, it is better to be safe than sorry.