Guwahati: Assam finance and health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has been constantly maintaining that the "positivity rate" among COVID-19 patients is "low". What this practically means is that the State Government-conducted tests have resulted in a "low" number of positive results.
📌Alert ~ 1178 new #COVID19 cases detected out of 19943 tests conducted in last 24 hrs.— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) August 2, 2020
We have been able to maintain a low positivity rate consistently (today- 5.91%)
Kamrup (M): 268
↗️Total cases 42904
↗️Active cases 11354
9:15 PM, Aug 02 pic.twitter.com/yvTegjnkAK
Yesterday, the Government conducted 19,943 COVID-19 tests across the state, out of which 1,178 fresh COVID-19 tests were 'positive'. What this translates into is the fact that 5.91% of tests have returned positive results. This is more or less in line with the average "positivity rate" which has hovered around the 5% mark ever since the minister started giving the numbers.
A day earlier, 1,457 cases were detected, out of a total of 27,161 total tests; the rate was 5.36%.
Himanta Biswa Sarma's assertion has come amid the state Government's efforts to ramp up the testing facilities in the state after a massive spike in COVID-19 cases that was witnessed in the early part of July. The tests were initially held on a mass scale across Guwahati (where rapid antigen tests were first introduced), and are now being increased across Assam.
The relative rise in the cases across Assam can no doubt be attributed to the rise in the number of testings, including the rapid antigen tests, which can give the results within hours.
The Government, in fact, has envisioned a massive testing drive on August 4, when around 50,000 tests will be conducted across the state.
Despite the low incidence of positive cases among the tests, the COVID-19 numbers have continued to rise at a steady and alarming rate.
As of Sunday, July 3, the cumulative tally stood at 42,904. Out of these, 32,384 cases have been discharged, while 10,412 are active. The number of deaths in the state, meanwhile, has risen to 105.
A positive takeaway from all this is the high number of discharges that have been taking place each day. Yesterday alone, 942 COVID-19 patients were discharged from hospitals after recovering from the dreaded illness.
"Many of them would be with their sisters & brothers to celebrate Raksha Bandhan on Monday", Himanta Biswa Sarma wrote in a tweet on the eve of Rakhi.