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Positivity rate on the rise, Kerala set to ramp up testing

With the Test Positivity Rate (TPR) in Kerala rising, the state health department has asked districts to ramp up testing for Covid-19 and make efforts to keep TPR down to 2 per cent. TPR is an indicator of the spread of infection.

A review report of the first week of August showed that the TPR in Kerala has gone up to 10 per cent in a few districts. The state has seen a surge in its case count this month, with the first week accounting for 25 per cent of the total Covid-19 cases reported in the state.

A report by the health department has said it is desirable to maintain test positivity rate at less than 5 per cent, preferably around 2 per cent. The report has said testing should be ramped up in Malappuram, Kasaragod, Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam and Alappuzha districts and efforts should be made to bring TPR below 5 per cent.

TPR in Kasaragod is 10.1 per cent, and in Malappuram, it is 10.3 per cent.

Kerala is currently testing up to 25,000 samples daily.

To ramp up testing, it has been decided that all individuals with influenza-like symptoms would be tested and antigen-based tests would be conducted judiciously in cluster containment zones for vulnerable individuals, including the elderly, people with co-morbidities, pregnancy and children suffering from severe malnutrition.

The state has been reporting more than 1,000 new cases daily since the beginning of this month, with 90 per cent of the cases attributed to local transmission in clusters.

Clusters have come up in Kasaragod, Alappuzha, Thiruvan- anthapuram, Ernakulam, Waya- nad, Kozhikode, Pathanamthitta and Malappuram districts.

In Kasaragod, Wayanad and Alappuzha, the occupancy in first-line treatment centres meant for asymptomatic patients is already above 70 per cent.

After a review meeting Tuesday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told the media that the spread of infection is continuing in the coastal clusters of Alappuzha, Ernakulam and Kasaragod and new clusters are coming up.


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