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Bihar witnesses lowest COVID-19 testing rates

Bihar, the state, where more than 25 lakh migrant workers have returned from other states due to lockdown, is the most backward among the 19 states in the country in terms of COVID-19 infection test, even lower than the neighboring states of Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. According to the data shared by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant on its Twitter handle on July 4, Bihar is at the bottom of the 19 states in relation to testing.

  • The data said that 2,197 tests per million were done in Bihar, while Delhi topped the chart as 32,863 tests per million, Andhra Pradesh 18,597 per million, Tamil Nadu 16,663 tests per million and Assam 13, 471 testing per million.
  • Even small states like Jharkhand are testing more than Bihar with 4,416 per million and Telangana 2,637 per million.
  • The neighboring state Uttar Pradesh is testing 3, 798 per million.
  • Mr. Kant tweeted that “the high test per million now happening in Delhi is exemplary for other states.”
  • Mr. Kant said that it is important, and states should be judged on the basis of tests.
  • We can only succeed against Covid-19 with a 3T strategy of testing, tracing and treatment, this is the moment to act and act fast.
  • The doctor-population ratio in Bihar is also the lowest in the country with one doctor (allopathic) for a population of 28,391 and one hospital bed per 8,645 people.
  • However, the Bihar government claims to increase its testing capacity from about 2,352 tests per day to 7,000-8,000.
  • Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had earlier asked health officials to test 15,000 samples per day.
  • Bihar’s total testing capacity includes real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), Truenat and cartridge-based nucleic acid amplification (CB-NAAT).
  • There are nine laboratories in Bihar to conduct RT-PCR testing, including three in the private sector, and mobile units for conducting trunet tests in all districts.
  • Of late, two testing laboratories at Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) and Rajendra Memorial Research Institute (RMRI) were closed for three days after some health workers tested COVID-19 positive, resuming testing on Monday.
  • Several doctors, health workers and officials of the state have also been found infected in the last two weeks.
  • Experts believe that the rate of infection in Bihar is low because the test is low, when the test reaches 20,000 or more per day, then the real situation will emerge in the state.
  • In Bihar, there have been 97 deaths due to infection so far, with 12,140 positive cases and 9,014 recoveries.
  • A bulletin of the state Health Department states that a total of 2,64,109 samples have been tested.
  • The recovery rate in the state till Monday has been 74.25%.
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