Uttarakhand is aiming to ramp up pool testing as many returning from other states are testing positive for COVID-19.
COVID-19 cases in Uttarakhand are doubling every 4.18 days. The latest average comes after the state reported a large number of cases in the last few days. This is significantly faster than the current national average of around 13 days.
The number of cases is believed to have spiked after at least 87 patients, who travelled in the same train from Maharashtra to Haridwar and then to Haldwani on a bus, tested positive in Nainital district on May 23.
About 32 people tested positive for COVID-19 in the state on May 25, taking the total in the state to 349. The number of active cases stands at 284, while 58 patients have been discharged after recovery so far.
Yugal Kishore Pant, Additional Secretary for medical health in the state, told The New Indian Express that the doubling rate of cases had changed in the last few days, “with the number of cases increasing steadily due to increased testing.”
“Rate of infection in the state is comparatively lower than the national average," Pant said.
"We have issued instructions to all district authorities to increase sampling and conduct maximum tests. All districts have been asked to conduct a minimum of 200 pool sample tests every week, especially for those deemed at high risk, including healthcare workers, pregnant women and attendants of OPD patients,” Pant added.
The newspaper report quotes Dr Abhishek Tripathi, Chief Operations Officer of Uttarakhand’s COVID-19 control room as saying that pool testing is being done on a much larger scale as many returning to the state have tested positive.
Of the latest cases, five were reported from Udham Singh Nagar, nine each from Nainital and Haridwar, three from Pauri Garhwal, two each from Chamoli and Tehri, and one case each was detected in Dehradun and Pithoragarh districts. All the new patients had travelled to the state from outside, according to the state’s health department.
Four COVID-19 patients have died in Uttarakhand so far, but three of them had other diseases. The cause of death of the fourth patient is not yet clear, a state Health Department bulletin said.
(With inputs from PTI)Click here for Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the novel coronavirus pandemic