After concern over mounting COVID-19 statistics some time ago, Mysuru district has witnessed a sharp decline in test positivity rate and the number of deaths during October.
While the number of deaths came down to 219 till October 30 from 302 and 293 in August and September respectively, the test positivity rate, which was 22.85% and 20.95% in September and August respectively, dipped sharply to 8.6% during October. While 16,569 cases were reported in September, it came down to 13,005 during October. Similiarly, the number of active cases dropped by around 75% from 7,110 to 1,781 during October.
This has also coincided with the number of tests rising from around 65,000 during August and 72,000 during September to 1.51 lakh during October.
“Two thirds of the total 3.3 lakh tests in Mysuru were carried out during September and October, which led to increase in number of cases from 17,949 to 47,523 during the same period,” pointed out Mysore Sanjeev, convener of Jeevan Raksha, an initiative by Proxima, a management consulting firm, which is studying COVID-19 trends in the country with technical support and guidance by Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI).
This, he said, was the “advantage of high qualitative and quantitative testing is early detection and early cure of infected people due to mild onset of virus spread”.
Meanwhile, Chidambara, an official of Department of Health and Family Welfare in Mysuru, who is monitoring COVID-19 testing and training, attributed the declining number of people testing positive and the fall in positivity rate to climatic conditions and increased testing.
The district now has a daily target of 4,500 tests, of which 3,100 has to be RT-PCR tests.
He also observed that the declining numbers coincided with cloudy weather giving way to sunny days.
“It is definitely not on account of people adhering to precautionary measures. We are seeing people going around without masks or maintaining social distancing,” Dr. Chidambara said. But, he did not rule out an element of herd immunity.
With regard to the declining number of deaths, Dr. Chidambara said people had started responding to symptoms by getting tested early and there has been an adoption of improved treatment protocols.
“Most of them are now following treatment protocol as per Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) guidelines,” he added.