At 17.31%, test positivity rate high in State

9,016 fresh cases when 52,067 samples tested taking cumulative to 3,34,228

The State on Saturday reported 9,016 new COVID-19 cases, when 52,067 samples were tested in the past 24 hours, taking the cumulative case burden to 3,34,228.

The number of recoveries registered on Saturday is 7,991. The test positivity rate of the day is 17.31%, higher than the 14.05% reported the previous day.

However, after testing as many as 73,816 samples on October 7, the highest number of samples processed in a day so far, the subsequent days showed the testing drop to as low as 38,259 samples on October 12.

After October 12, the number of samples tested in a day has barely gone above 50,000.

The sudden drop in testing has been attributed to the technical glitches in the new Lab Diagnosis and Management System which requires an elaborate data entry process.

The total samples tested in a day, as given out by the Health Department, is an ambiguous figure which does not specify the number of tests done daily to detect new cases.

Since the total samples processed in a day also includes repeat sample tests as well as the antigen tests done prior to discharging patients (which on an average has been 7,500-8,000 a day), the actual number of samples tested to detect new infections daily must be a little over 40,000 only.

If this fact is taken into account, the actual test positivity rate in the State must be way over the projected 17.3%, indicating the extent of disease transmission in the community.

The number of recoveries so far has been 2,36,989. The number of active cases at present is 96,004, of whom 756 patients are critically ill and being treated in ICUs, with 180 of them requiring ventilator support.

The Health Department added 26 more deaths which occurred in the past several days to the official death list on Saturday, taking the cumulative toll to 1,139.

Thiruvananthapuram reported seven of these deaths, four in Malappuram, three each in Kollam, Kottayam and Thrissur, two each in Kozhikode and Alappuzha and one each in Ernakulam and Kannur.

Of the new cases reported on Saturday, 98.5% cases – 8,889 cases – are locally acquired infections, including the 1,321 cases wherein the source of infection remains untraced. These include infections contracted by 104 health-care workers also.

Among districts, Malappuram’s case graph continues to climb with 1,519 cases. Thrissur follows with 1,109, Ernakulam 1,022, Kozhikode 926, Thiruvananthapuram 848, Palakkad 688, Kollam 656, Alappuzha 629, Kannur 464, Kottayam 411, Kasaragod 280, Pathanamthitta 203, Idukki 140 and Wayanad 121 cases.

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