Virus spread in Haryana again nears peak levels

The coronavirus infection trajectory in Haryana continued its renewed escalation for the third week in a row with the state reporting 3,146 more infections last week (November 9-15) in contrast to the week before.

With 17,070 fresh cases last week, the virus spread is close to the all-time high of 17,616 infections reported in the second week of September when the virus spread had hit its peak in the state.

After a four-week drop, a fresh increase in cases during the festivities started in October end when 10,576 infections were reported between October 26 and November 1 followed by 13,924 the next week (November 2-8).

Additional chief secretary (ACS), health, Rajeev Arora, said only four districts – Gurugram, Faridabad, Hisar and Rohtak — were badly affected at present. “These four districts collectively accounted for about 63% of the total active cases. However, as per the past trends and experience, we expect the virus to move again towards the northern districts after November 25. We are worried because wedding season is also going to commence now,” the ACS said.

RT-PCR sampling up

The health authorities had last week stepped up the testing, taking 9,000 more samples than the week before. Statistics showed that the number of reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests, considered the gold-standard diagnosis, increased by 35,441 last week whereas the less reliable rapid antigen tests (RAT) showed a reduction of 26,437. The positivity rate from RT-PCR testing is 7.7%, whereas its 4.4% from the RAT, statistics show.

“We are going to further step up the testing in the coming days. The entire focus will now be on enforcement of safety measures like mask wearing and social distancing. The biggest consolation is that the fatality rate is 1.01%,” the ACS said.

Gurugram, Faridabad at bottom in contact tracing

The health department data showed that while primary and secondary contacts of 94% of the infected persons in the state were traced by the authorities, there are over 11,000 cases where contact tracing is still pending.

Contact tracing is an integral part of the strategy to break the chain of virus transmission. The average number of contacts traced per positive person is 6.6. Nuh district with 13.5 average number of contacts traced per positive person tops the chart followed by Sirsa (9.9), Bhiwani and Kaithal (9), Rohtak (8.8) and Sonepat (8.8), according to the data.

However, hotspots like Gurugram (4) and Faridabad (4.5) have fared poorly and are at the bottom of the charts in terms of average number of contacts traced per positive person.

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