An average of 1,579 tests in 10 days

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Since the beginning of the intensified lockdown in Madurai district, the Health department has conducted an average of 1,579 tests to determine COVID-19.

According to data obtained from the district administration, between June 25 and July 4, Madurai district began by conducting 1,313 cases and progressively ramped up testing to a little short of 2,000 each day. While the maximum number of tests conducted on a day is 1,985 on June 4, only 813 cases were tested on June 28, a Sunday and complete lockdown day. Based on these figures, the district has averaged a positivity rate of 16.89%.

Collector T. G. Vinay said they were working towards achieving the ideal positivity rate of 5% by ensuring targeted testing.

During the intensified lockdown that started in the district on June 24, the Collector said the main intention was to ensure that they identified symptoms of COVID-19 and asked patients to get tested at the fever clinics across the district. Any influenza-like illnesses (ILI) cases would immediately be asked to contain themselves, he said.

“This way, determining the positive cases became easy. Those with fever, cough, cold and breathlessness only need to inform our health workers. Through this method, we would be able to determine probable positives,” he said.

In the following days, tests were bound to rise as more persons with ILI symptoms were being referred to fever clinics for having their samples taken. “Merely increasing the testing will not help determine the disease spread. We must look at potential positive cases through targeted testing and help determine whether or not they have COVID-19,” he said.

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