COVID-19: Maharashtra not conducting enough tests, decrease in share of RT-PCR tests observed, says Centre

Amid a massive rise in COVID-19 cases in India, the state of Maharashtra being top in the list of states of contributing highest cases, the Centre today targeted the Maharashtra government saying the state is not testing enough, and that the share of RT-PCR tests in the state is progressively decreasing.

Addressing a press conference on the COVID-19 situation in the country, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said covid cases in Maharashtra have "grown significantly" and have reached a high of over 57,000 cases a day.

"The state's test per million figure is also growing but it is not keeping pace with the growth of average daily cases," Bhushan said.

He also added that the share of RT-PCR tests in the total number of tests carried out in the state has been decreasing as the case increased. RT-PCR test is considered to be among the most reliable tests to detect Covid-19.

"The share of the RT-PCR tests in the state it is progressively coming down which is something concerning. We request the state to address this," Rajesh Bhushan said.

Maharashtra's weekly share of RT-PCR test was 57.6 per cent in the week of April 7-13. This was a sharp decline from 70.3 per cent, as compared tothe figure for the week of February 17-23, revealed data from the press briefing.

He also recommended that both tests are important. "The Rapid Antigen tests are good as a screening test for areas that are crowded or are seeing new clusters. But those who test negative in the antigen test, have to mandatorily be subjected to RT-PCR test," he added.

Ten states -- Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Kerala have shown a rise in the COVID-19 daily cases accounting for 80.80 per cent of the new infections reported in a day, the Union Health Ministry said earlier in the day on Tuesday.

The five states of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Kerala cumulatively account for 68.85 per cent of India's total Active Cases. Maharashtra alone accounts for 44.78 per cent of the total active caseload of the country.

Sixteen states -- Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, Kerala, Telangana, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal are displaying an upward trajectory in daily new cases.

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