From June to July: Testing in Gurugram up by over 3 times

New Delhi: A comparative analysis of officials COVID-19 data compiled and released by the Gurugram Health Department shows that authorities here have managed to increase testing by over 3.6 times from June to July and have managed to bring down the average monthly positivity rate by over 15 percentage points. However, there are still areas of concern for authorities, which include a deteriorating number of RT-PCR tests and an increasing number of cases being detected from rural areas of the district.

According to official data, a total of 19,104 samples were tested for the novel Coronavirus in June, of which 4,573 were positive for the contagious disease caused by the virus, leaving Gurugram with an average monthly positivity rate of around 23.93 per cent. On some days, the daily positivity rate in the district went as high as 25 per cent.

Moreover, in June, the district had reported a whopping 88 COVID-19 fatalities, up from three the previous month. In fact, Gurugram had recorded its first Coronavirus death on May 21 and two more in that month. But with testing taking a turn upwards in June, more cases were detected and with it, more fatalities were recorded.

However, in July, the district has reported a total of 32 COVID-19 deaths — a significant decrease — which officials credit themselves with for introducing timely interventions like capping hospital prices, increasing monitoring and surveillance capabilities and a dramatic surge in testing, which gave them options to provide healthcare as early in the disease as possible.

While the district had tested a little over 19,000 samples in June, that number increased to 69,306 the following month, with a total of 3,642 of these coming back positive for COVID-19, leaving an average monthly positivity rate of around 5.25 per cent. However, the catch is that in July with Rapid Antigen Tests being introduced, the district started losing its focus on conducting RT-PCR tests — the gold standard for diagnosis.

Of the nearly 70,000 tests in July, nearly 60 per cent (41,025) were Rapid Antigen Tests, which have a much higher false-negative rate owing to the low sensitivity of the test kits. The rest, 28,281 were RT-PCR tests.

But in a major worry for health officials, the rural areas of Gurugram turned into major hotspots in July, as opposed to in June, where a majority of the district's cases were reported from urban centres. In addition to Sohna and Manesar being classified as large outbreak regions, other areas on the outskirts like Badshahpur, Pataudi and Bangrola have also started reporting a large number of cases.

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