Karnataka govt ramps up daily testing in Bengaluru; focus on reducing fatality rate, positivity rate

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on October 07, 2020

City closes gap with Delhi in number of covid-19 positive cases

Bengaluru, which is set to overtake Delhi in total number of Covid-19 cases, is now focussing more on reducing case fatality rate and positivity rate in tackling the pandemic.

As on Tuesday, Bengaluru has 2,57,241 positive cases and 3,135 deaths, while Delhi recorded a total of 2,95,236 positive cases and 5,581 deaths. Looking at this alarming situation, the State government has taken note of Covid-19 technical advisory committee (TAC) which had advised the State to strengthen the testing infrastructure and scale-up testing rapidly.

Now with improved test facilities, Bengaluru has been conducting 40,000 per day (both RT-PCR + RAT) - the highest daily RT-PCR test for any city in the country. While other Covid-19 hit cities like Mumbai are conducting about 13,000 daily tests, Chennai doing about 13,000 daily tests with Delhi around the same levels.

The number of daily Covid-19 cases has also increased with the increase in the number of tests in Bengaluru as over 3,000 cases daily has been detected for over a week- Oct 6 – 5,012 cases, Oct 5- 2,189 cases, Oct 4 – 4,340 cases, Oct 3- 3,925 cases, Oct 2 – 4,259 cases, Oct 1 – 4,853 cases and September 30- 4,226 cases.

Ramping up testing

With the rising cases, the city’s test positivity rate for the last seven days is hovering around 13 per cent while the State average is 11 per cent. Doctors and epidemic experts explain this stagnant level of test positivity rate is no sign of pandemic abating at the moment.

“Yes. Bengaluru has the highest daily RT-PCR tests in the country. Hence it’s showing more daily cases,” said Munish Moudgil, Head of Covid-19 War Room in Karnataka.

Justifying Bengaluru’s testing record, Moudgil said: “The best way to evaluate the status of Covid-19 is to look at Case Fatality Rate and Positivity Rate, because simply by doing more tests one ends-up with more number of positive cases. And doing more tests actually save lives by early detection of covid patients.”

Karnataka Minister for Medical Education, K Sudhakar, said: “Since last week of September, we have steadily increased the daily tests. We have increased the testing capacities in all our government labs and also roped in more private medical labs to conduct more tests daily.”

“This initiative entrusted to BBMP is working and we are already seeing the results. In the State, we conducted 1,04,348 tests in a single day on Tuesday. 55,690 RT-PCR and other method tests were conducted across 146 labs and 48,658 Rapid Antigen Tests were conducted across 30 districts. We will soon increase the tests to 1.5 lakh per day,” he added.

The Minister added the government is concentrating on reducing deaths per million in Bengaluru which is the highest at 325.8 while the state averages at 154 deaths. On the case fatality rate in the last 15 days Bengaluru at 0.7 per cent is less than the State average of one per cent.

State government has also invoked The Karnataka Epidemic Diseases Ordinance, 2020 ordering all individuals up for Covid-19 tests by the government to get tested.

Published on October 07, 2020

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