Steady decline in positivity rate indicate ebb of third wave


The Omicron driven Covid-19 third wave has started its downward journey. After witnessing 10 days of steady decline in cases registered daily, the positivity rate also has begun to fall consistently. While the last two days also saw in dip in weekly positivity rate from 16.84 per cent to 15.63 per cent. The weekly positivity has gone down  for the first time in more than a month. The positivity rate measures the proportion of people who test positive  out of the total number  who got tested. Positivity rate is an indicator of how fast the infection is spreading. It measures the number of people who tested positive to the total number of people who got tested.

In the third wave, however, many symptomatic people did not get them tested due to the mild nature of the  disease and quicker recovery time. A sizeable population also used the home-testing kit instead of RT-PCR from the lab and hence were not included in official count.

The weekly positivity rate in India was around 0.4 per cent by the third week of December before the number of cases saw a sudden surge due to the highly contagious Omicron variant. The positivity rate rose constantly until Friday when it observed a fall for the first time since last week of December.

Currently, the positivity rate is more than 15 per cent, still higher than the positivity rate of the entire duration of the pandemic since February 2020 to now, which is lower than six per cent. During the second wave the weekly positivity rate shot to 22 per cent for a brief period.

According to Health Ministry data, at present the weekly positivity rate of 388 out of 734 districts in India is more than 10 per cent and for another 144 districts the positivity rate is below 5 and 10 per cent. The remaining 202 districts have a positivity rate less than five per cent.

In Kerala, most of the districts had a positivity rate above 40 per cent , Four districts_ Kottayam, Ernakulum, Thiruvananthapuram and Idukki had a positivity rate above 50 per cent. Kerala with more 50,000 new cases for the last five days now, is in the most alarmed state.

In one district each in Arunachal Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Assam, the positivity rate is more than 50 per cent.

Other south Indian states like Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh are also witnessing a huge number of cases. But Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are expected to have already crossed its peak and are in their downward journey now.

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