Covid is flattening in Sikkim, for now; Test Positivity Rate falls nearly 20% in a week

SAGAR CHHETRI

Gangtok, 01 Jun:

While the number of Covid-fatalities continue to remain a worry for Sikkim [with four more deaths], infections are clearly coming down. The 309 new cases recorded in the past 24 hours might appear a high number on first glance, but when tempered with information that these cases were detected from the screening of a record 2,672 samples on Monday, the context should bring some solace. Today's statistic returns a Test Positivity Rate of 11.56%, a major climb down from the 30+ TPR Sikkim reported in the peak of the second wave over the past few weeks.

Even exactly a week back, on 25 May last Tuesday, Sikkim was returning a 30% Test Positivity Rate with 278 cases being reported from much fewer tests - 940.

The focus on mass testing and a noticeable ramping up of the number of samples screened at the two VRD Labs in the State has ensured that cases are detected faster and thus the chances of the virus spreading reduced substantially.

To provide some more perspective, the TPR yesterday was 16% against the 25% rate reported last Monday. Bear in mind, on Mondays, the numbers are usually lower since the VRD Labs are closed on Sundays and no RT-PCR tests are conducted. On 24 May, the report was for the barely 400 samples screened the previous day. This Monday, the TPR was 16% even though a much higher, 932, samples were tested for Covid via Rapid Antigen Testing.

What is also reassuring is that despite the high number of new cases in absolute terms, the number of complete recoveries reported over the same 24 hours was still higher. As per the daily Covid Report put out by the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, a total of 334 formerly Covid-positive patients made full recoveries and were discharged from home isolation today and returned to their normal lives.

With this large number of new recoveries, Sikkim's count of active cases has also come down to 3,992. Thus far, Sikkim has reported 15,626 confirmed cases of Covid, of whom 11,163 have already made full recoveries.

At present there are 33 Covid patients under treatment at ICU facilities in the State. While there are a total of 220 Covid patients admitted in hospitals here, 3776 are in facility or home isolation across the State.

While 210 of the new cases were registered in East District, 50 were in West District, 27 in South District and 22 in North District.

A total of 200 cases were detected in RT-PCR testing of 624 samples, two more were reported in TruNat testing of seven samples and 107 people tested positive in rapid antigen testing of 2,041 samples.

In a sad note, the State also recorded four more COVID deaths in the last 24 hours taking Sikkim’s Covid death toll to 257. All four deaths were reported from STNM Hospital.