Spurt in COVID-19 cases due to ramped up testing:AP govt

The Andhra Pradesh government has attributed the spike in the COVID-19 positive cases over the past few days to ramped up testing besides movement of people from other states with easing of lockdown restrictions. Coronavirus cases surged to 1,20,390 in Andhra Pradesh yesterday as it reported a new single day high of 10,093 infections. Authorities said a record number of 70,584 tests were done during the last 24 hours ending at 9 AM on Wednesday. Deputy Chief Minister (Health) A K K Srinivas has said the prime reason for the severe spurt in number of cases was the “extensive” COVID-19 tests. According to government data as of yesterday, AP has conducted 18,20,009 tests at the rate of 34,083 per million population, stated to be the highest among states. Tamil Nadu is next with 32,154 tests per million.

In just the last two days, the number of Covid-19 cases increased by 20,260 from 1,40,652 sample tests as the overall infection positivity rate climbed to 6.91 per cent.

“In fact, like no other state, Andhra Pradesh is spending Rs 5 crore per day only for the tests.

As the number of tests is increasing every day, the number of positive cases is also high.

The government has been spending Rs 350 crore per month on COVID care despite the severe financial crunch,” Srinivas claimed. Special Chief Secretary (Health) K S Jawahar Reddy said all efforts were being made to bring down the number of positive cases to five per cent and in any case ensure they did not exceed 10 per cent.

He said they were also trying to bring the mortality rate to less than one per cent.

Chief Secretary Nilam Sawhney attributed the spike to “movement of people from neighbouring states after the Unlock (phase)” and hoped the numbers would fall in the coming days.

As per government statistics, 2,461 persons who came to AP from various other states of the country after Unlock 1.0 tested positive for the virus while another 434 who came from abroad were also infected.

From just 3,674 total cases on June 1, the state now has 1,30,557, with 69,252 of them being active.

“In view of increased testing and rapid antigen kits usage, every day we are getting high positives.We have issues with hospital management, as everyone wants hospital admission.

We are, however, handling with Covid Care Centres,” a report sent to the Government of India noted.

The government, however, exuded confidence that it could handle up to one lakh active cases in a given situation.

Jawahar Reddy said the state government has put in place the process of “testing, tracing, tracking, isolating and treating” on a large-scale to keep a tab on the infection rate as well as reduce mortality.

Talking about the Covid-19 management strategy, a top official in the Chief Ministers Office observed that things worked out well in the first 3-4 months.

“Whatever was done in February, March, April was fairly well implemented.

But then things, or the strategists rather, changed and it has since been a mess all the way,” he lamented. – PTI

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