Announcing the dates for the elections to be held in five states, the Chief Election Commissioner of India Sushil Chandra made a statement regarding Corona. He had said, ‘Maharashtra has the maximum number of cases, followed by Delhi, Karnataka. I don’t think there is any election in these areas. But the cases are still increasing, so we cannot say that corona is only because of elections.
Average test rate is directly related to positivity rate
The answer is simple as to why cases of Covid-19 are being reported less in the poll-bound states. An analysis by India Today’s Data Intelligence Unit (DIU) shows that the average daily tests across the three polling states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Uttarakhand have not increased at the rate they should have increased in a month. Whereas data shows that aggressive tests are being done in states like Maharashtra, Delhi and West Bengal.
We have compared the average daily test with the states that have not had any election rallies and campaigns in the last one month. But the number of cases there is very high. These are the states like Maharashtra, Delhi and West Bengal, where the positivity rate is much higher than the states in the elections. The data shows that the average test rate in these states is directly related to the positivity rate.
Between December 7, 2021 and January 7, 2022, the average daily test in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh has increased by only 19.6 percent. Compared to Maharashtra, there has been an increase of at least 43.9% in tests in the last one month. While the testing rate has increased by 46.2% in Delhi and 51.7% in West Bengal.
According to the testing data, 1,72,593 tests were conducted in UP till 1 December 2021, which increased to 1,82,749 tests on 15 December 2021. On 1 January 2022, the number of Tests was only 1,82,995, while on 7 January this number increased to 2,32,291.
Compared to other large populous electoral states Uttarakhand and Punjab, Uttar Pradesh is conducting more tests than these states. But compared to smaller states like Goa and Manipur, where the average daily testing rate is 47.8% and 37.8%, Uttar Pradesh lags behind.
In Punjab too, the cases of Kovid are increasing rapidly and the number of patients in the hospitals is also increasing. However, the lack of tests here is still a matter of concern. Average testing in Punjab from 7 December 2021 to 7 January 2022 has gone to minus–21.7% compared to Uttar Pradesh (19.6%) or Delhi (46.2%).
Despite hospitalizations, the Election Commissioner had reported Punjab’s positivity rate as 2.1% on January 8. Whereas today the positivity rate of Punjab is very dangerous i.e. 23.72%.
A total of 26,298 tests were conducted in Punjab on 1 December, 26,576 tests were conducted on 15 December, on 31 December this number fell to 15,995. On January 1, only 332 cases of Kovid were registered here, while a total of 15,981 samples were tested. in the state. On January 7, 3,643 cases of Kovid were registered, while a total of 26,154 tests were conducted on that day. The rate of testing in Punjab has remained the same since the beginning of the third wave.
Talking about Uttarakhand, the average daily testing in Uttarakhand has increased by 17.4% as compared to other election states. In Uttarakhand, 14,746 samples were tested on 1 December, while 17,049 tests were conducted on 15 December. On January 1, only 15,927 tests were conducted, while on January 7, 15,217 samples were tested in the state.
On January 8, the state’s positivity rate was 1.01%, which is less than Uttar Pradesh. But today, in just three days, the positivity rate (TPR) in the hill state has increased to 7.57%.
Goa and Manipur
Talking about testing in Goa and Manipur, both these states have performed better. Testing has doubled in Goa. In December 2021, Goa’s average daily testing was 2988, which increased to 3,389 on January 4, 2022. By 7 January, this number increased to 4,458 Tests. In Goa, the testing rate increased by 47.8 percent, while the positivity rate has also increased to 27.38%.
Manipur’s Test average was 1,911 on December 1, 2021, which has now reached 2,225 on January 7, 2022. Testing has increased by 37.8 percent in Manipur and the positivity rate has gone up to 4.14%, which was 1.1% on 8 January.
Meanwhile, the average daily testing across India has increased by 9.8 percent. Equally worrying is the ICMR’s latest guidelines regarding Kovid testing. On Monday, the guidelines regarding testing were changed as to who does not need to be tested.
1. Asymptomatic individuals in a community setting
2. Exposure to confirmed cases of COVID-19, if not high risk based on age or comorbidity.
3. Patients discharged as per home isolation guidelines
4. According to the revised discharge policy, patients who have been discharged after treatment of Kovid-19.
5. Persons undertaking inter-state domestic travel.
All these factors have misrepresented the situation of COVID in already polling states. The Election Commission has said that there will be another review of the COVID situation in these states and parties will have to confine their campaigning to virtual campaigns so that the mistakes of the past are not repeated this election season.
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