How Bihar is dealing with Covid?

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India, today surpassed the 1 million mark of Covid cases. Though the number of active cases are low, the increase in daily spike is a sign of worry. Starting from June 1, the country began unlocking. Many states opened up with restrictions. But now, as the cases are going up, the states have again started enforcing lockdown. One of these is Bihar.

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Positivity Rate in Bihar

At present, the positivity rate for the whole country stands at an average of 7.6%. But in Bihar, the positivity rate is of 5.7%.

Dr. S. K. Shahi told The Indian Express, that “the positivity rate in 17 districts around Patna has increased from 4% to 15% over the past two weeks”. He further added that out of the 22,000 samples taken for 2 weeks, almost 80% were positive. Out of all the districts, Patna has been the worst hit. Of the total cases in Bihar, Patna alone has reported more than 12% cases. It has a positivity rate of 8-10%. This means that almost 90% of those being tested, turn out to be positive.

Level of Covid Testing in Bihar

“Test, Test, Test”, was the message from WHO to the whole world. Though India has steadily increased its rate of testing, Bihar still has the lowest testing rate in the country. This equals to 316 per lakh.  

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Till date Bihar has carried out only 3.3 lakh tests so far. Prior data shows, that states who had higher positivity rate on reaching 3.3 lakh cases, were the worst hit. These include Maharashtra, Gujrat and Delhi. Therefore, Bihar’s low testing rate when seen with a high positivity rate, makes the situation grim.

According to WHO, the Test Positivity Rate (TPR) should remain below 5%. But as we saw in Bihar, the TPR has almost tripled in two weeks. This of course is a cause of concern for the state.

Adding to the scenario are events that show a casual behavior of the people and the authorities regarding the pandemic. As there is going to be an upcoming election in the state, the BJP has been stressing on virtual rallies. In doing so, a total of 75 individuals from Bihar’s BJP office got positive this week. Not only this, few weeks before, a wedding became a super-spreader event as the groom died of Corona and 100 guests tested positive.

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The state has now gone into a lockdown till 31 July due to an increase in active cases.

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Written By Shiwangi, She is doing her Masters in Mass Communication from GGS IP University, New Delhi.

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