Karnataka, which has been testing over one lakh samples daily for the past four days, conducted a record 1,12,770 tests in a 24-hour period that ended on Saturday. This included 64,367 RT-PCR tests.
With this, the total number of tests touched 58,52,300 on Saturday. In the past one week alone, Karnataka has done 7,62,570 tests, which is almost equal to the total number of tests done till July.
The State’s COVID-19 tests breached the 50 lakh mark on October 2. From an average of 80 tests a day in March, the daily tests have crossed an average of 90,000 since October 5.
In fact, the State ramped up its testing from May onwards. From 1,587 tests in March, Karnataka conducted 3,21,115 tests till June. This further rose to 7,65,945 in July and more than doubled in August with 15,93,892. The number went up to 20,18,194 in September. The tests per million went up from 44,099 on September 1, and to 72,541 on September 30.
Karnataka started conducting Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) with one sample in June. This number rose to 1,68,472 samples in July, 7,24,469 in August, and 9,13,158 in September.
Scope for improvement
However, despite the high number of samples tested, experts say the State’s testing is yet to match the velocity of the virus. The Test Positivity Rate (TPR) on September 30 marginally increased to 12.3% from 11.8% on September 1. As on Saturday, the TPR stood at 9.32%.
According to epidemiologists, a high TPR indicates that testing is relatively limited to people with high suspicion of COVID-19 and may miss new chains of transmission in the community. “It would have made a big difference if the State had achieved the current rate of testing one or two months ago,” said a senior doctor.
Total cases breach 7 lakh
The total number of cases in the State breached the seven lakh mark on Saturday. Continuing to report over 10,000 cases for the fourth consecutive day, the State witnessed 10,517 new cases. With this, the total number of cases hit 7,00786.
With 102 new deaths, the toll rose to 9,891.This is apart from 19 non-COVID-19 deaths.
As many as 8,337 persons were discharged on Saturday, taking the total number of recoveries to 5,69,947. Active cases continued to remain over one lakh at 1,20,929. Bengaluru Urban reported 4,563 cases, taking its tally to 2,76,934. With 30 of the 102 deaths being from Bengaluru, the toll in this district rose to 3,320.