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5 States told to ramp up testing

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has directed five states, where the positivity rate is higher than the national average, to ramp up testing, officials said at a press briefing on Tuesday.

The five states under lens are Delhi, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Four of these states account for more than half (53.5 per cent) of the number of active cases present in the country currently.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that despite testing in high numbers, these states are not able to reduce the positivity rate.

“If the positivity rate remains high despite a large number of tests, then the states need to ramp up testing further. We have conveyed this to the administration of Delhi, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu,” Bhushan informed.

“The number of tests conducted has to be seen in tandem with the rate of positivity reported, because the numbers on their own do not give any significant input to us,” he added.

Besides, the ministry also advised the states having a positivity rate below the national average to maintain the momentum of their testing.

The ministry informed that the national positivity rate is 8.4 per cent. In comparison, the positivity rate in Maharashtra is 2.5 times the national average. The state also has concentrated nearly one third of the total active cases.

Break-up of 53.5 per cent of total active cases concentrated in four states:

* Maharashtra: 29.5 per cent

* Karnataka: 9.9 per cent

* Andhra Pradesh: 9.4 per cent

* Tamil Nadu: 4.7 per cent

States with positivity rate below the national average:

* West Bengal 8.1 per cent from 25,54,114 tests

* Odisha 6.2 per cent from 24,95,242 tests

* Gujarat 5.5 per cent from 29,79,348 tests

* Uttar Pradesh 4.5 per cent from 70,11,832 tests

* Bihar 3.7 per cent from 43,52,419 tests

States faring above the national average:

* Maharashtra 21.5 per cent positivity rate from 51,73,753 tests

* Andhra Pradesh 12.3 per cent from 46,91,577 tests

* Karnataka 12.1 per cent from 38,59,200 tests

* Tamil Nadu 9.2 per cent from 58,09,774 tests

* Delhi 8.9 per cent from 22,68,637 tests