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Largest 24-hour spike as 81 new cases surface

Alarmingly, the rate of +ve cases among tested individuals also saw a jump of nearly 1 percentage point in just the last 56 hours

Abhinay Lakshman

New Delhi: India registered its largest number of COVID-19 positive cases in a day, as the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) announced that 55 individuals had tested positive for the novel Coronavirus out of 1,128 people who were tested between 10 AM and 6 PM on Sunday.

As per ICMR data, India saw an increase of 81 COVID-19 positive cases in the 24 hours between 6 PM on Saturday and Sunday, during which time, 1,216 individuals were tested. Health authorities across the country have tried to ramp up testing which has also resulted in a spike of nearly one percentage point in the rate of positive cases in India in just the last 56 hours. As of March 20, 10 AM, 1.53 per cent of people getting tested were coming back with a positive result, But as of 6 pm on Sunday, almost 2.3 per cent of individuals getting tested were positive for COVID-19.

As India continues to fight the virus, what is of note is that authorities have now started testing anyone with symptoms, irrespective of their travel or contact history and have now also opened up privately-run laboratories to test for the novel Coronavirus, preparing for a larger number of tests to be conducted.

This trend of the increasing rate of positive cases is expected to continue as the nation gets more tests per day.

As per data provided by the ICMR, as of 10 AM on March 20, India had tested 13,486 individuals for the virus, of which 206 came back positive for COVID-19 - pointing towards a rate of positive cases around 1.53 per cent. As of 6 PM on March 22, Indian authorities had tested a total of 17,237 people, of which 396 were positive for the novel Coronavirus - spiking the rate of positive cases to nearly 2.3 per cent.

Since 10 AM on March20, the ICMR said authorities had tested 3,751 individuals, of which 190 were COVID-19 positive - meaning 5.1 per cent of tested persons had the virus. The rate of positive cases rose by .1 percentage point on March 20, but it doubled to over .2 percentage points as of March 21 at 6 AM, following which the rate increased by .14 percentage points during the day and finally settled at a rate of 2.3 per cent as on Sunday evening. Interestingly, the rate of samples tested to positive COVID-19 cases has also seen a similar rise of over half a percentage point in the last two days.

Besides, the data showed that Indian authorities are desperately trying to increase the number of tests being conducted, have not been able to do so. Between 10 AM and 6 PM on March 20, ICMR said 1,028 individuals were tested. That number rose to 1,218 individuals being tested in the same time period on March 21 but dropped to 1,128 individuals being tested on Sunday.

According to authorities, the ICMR has tested 17,237 individuals and 18,127 samples for the novel Coronavirus as of 6 PM on Sunday.

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