Fighting coronavirus: As COVID-19 positivity rate increases, Kerala ramps up testing

By: |
August 12, 2020 3:39 PM

In the past few weeks, the Test Positivity Rate (TPR) in Kerala has increased significantly, with the state reporting 25 per cent of its coronavirus cases in the first week of August alone.

According to a report issued by the state health department, the Test Positivity Rate in the state should not cross the threshold of 5 percent and it should be brought down to below 5 per cent, preferably up to 2 per cent.

With the COVID-19 positivity rate rising to over 10 per cent in some districts of Kerala this week, the state government has issued instructions to ramp up testing across the state in order to bring down the positivity rate.

In the past few weeks, the Test Positivity Rate (TPR) in Kerala has increased significantly, with the state reporting 25 per cent of its coronavirus cases in the first week of August alone, according to a report by The Indian Express. The state has been recording 1,000 new COVID-19 cases per day since the beginning of the month.

According to a report issued by the state health department, the Test Positivity Rate in the state should not cross the threshold of 5 percent and it should be brought down to below 5 per cent, preferably up to 2 per cent. Among the districts which have seen a massive surge in the positivity rate are Thiruvananthapuram, Kasaragod, Malappuram, Ernak- ulam and Alappuzha districts of the state and directions have been given to the district authorities to increase testing in order to contain the spread of the virus. While the positivity rate in Kasaragod is 10.1 %, the positivity rate reported in Malappuram district is 10.3%. The state is testing up to 25,000 samples every day.

According to the instructions issued by the state health department, all individuals who are exhibiting influenza-like symptoms will be tested. In addition to the PCR tests, the antigen tests will also be conducted judiciously in cluster containment zones for vulnerable sections of the population including senior citizens, people with co-morbidities, children and pregnant women.

TPR or positivity rate is an indicator of the spread of the infection among the population. In quantifiable terms, a positivity rate of over 10% means that 100 out of 1,000 people tested for coronavirus are emerging positive.

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