COVID-19 infection rate high in Bengaluru Rural

According to data from the COVID-19 war room, 97.3% of Karnataka’s 7,35,371 patients till October 14 were asymptomatic

Over seven days ending on October 15, although Bidar conducted the highest number of tests on asymptomatic cases and Bagalkot conducted the highest number of tests on symptomatic cases, the positivity rate among both asymptomatic and symptomatic persons was highest in Bengaluru Rural.

According to the State COVID-19 war room data till October 15, Bagalkot had tested 30.3% symptomatic patients and Bidar had tested 99.9% asymptomatic patients. Overall, 97.3% of the State’s 7,35,371 patients till October 14 were asymptomatic.

However, the Test Positivity Rate (TPR) among asymptomatic patients tested over the seven-day period was highest in Bengaluru Rural (17.2%). While Kopal had the least at 2.9%, the TPR among asymptomatic patients tested in Bengaluru Urban was 10.2%. Vijayapura, Mysuru, Hassan, Chitradurga, Udupi, Tumakuru, and Dakshina Kannada all had a TPR above 10.7%.

Bidar, with the highest number of asymptomatic persons tested, had the lowest TPR among asymptomatic patients at 1.6%. At 48.6%, Bengaluru Rural had the highest TPR among symptomatic cases.

Munish Moudgil, who heads the State COVID-19 war room, said this was simply because the rate of infection was higher in Bengaluru Rural. “A high positivity rate indicates a higher infection in that district,” he said.


False negatives?

K.V. Rama Mohan, member of Project: Jeevan Raksha, an initiative of Proxima, said the low TPR (11.7%) in Bagalkot, which has done the highest number of tests of symptomatic cases, points to the possibility of a prevalence of high false negatives in the region.

“Bagalkot has the highest percentage of symptomatic cases. Under normal circumstances, the TPR of symptomatic cases could be high. But the war room data indicates a lower TPR here. This scenario is possible if the prevalence of false negatives is higher in the region,” he said.

“The local administration should immediately examine whether the Indian Council of Medical Research protocol for negative testing of symptomatic cases is strictly followed in the district. In case it is not followed strictly, the chances are of positive patients wrongly testing negative and continuing to spread the virus,” he said.

Most contacts

According to the war room data, while Bidar, at 24.6, had the highest number of contacts — both primary and secondary put together — per patient in the seven-day period, Ballari (5.5) had the lowest.

Bengaluru had the highest percentage of nil contacts per positive patient. Of the 28,208 patients who tested positive during the period, 13,486 had no contacts.

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Sagar Biswas

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