Representational image
Representational image
Photo: BL Soni

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage across the country, Maharashtra has emerged as the single worst affected state. As per Health Ministry data on Sunday morning, the western state has 1,85,750 active cases. It has also recorded 41,965 fatalities.

On Sunday, a Twitter user alleged that Pune had greatly reduced its COVID-19 testing rates over the last month or so. "The positive rate is still nearly 12 to 15%. We are not getting the correct picture here," alleged author and former Indian Navy surgeon Uday S Kulkarni.

While many in the comments section took it upon themselves to debate the issue, we took a look at the daily numbers that are put out on social media platforms by the authorities. Going by the numbers tweeted out by Pune Mayor Murlidhar Mohol on a daily basis, we made a comparative study.

With the day to day data showing large fluctuations that make it difficult to compare two days in isolation, we took a one week period from October 11 to 17 and from September 11 to 17 for our comparision. Note that the data for each day may not indicate the exact number of tests carried out during that calendar day. Here, we've used the information given by the authorities and attributed to the relevant dates.

September 11 - 6,588

September 12 - 6,626

September 13 - 6,770

September 14 - 2,807

September 15 - 5,494

September 16 - 7,162

September 17 - 6,549

Total: 41,996

October 11 - 4,269

October 12 - 1,920

October 13 - 4,090

October 14 - 4,495

October 15 - 4,220

October 16 - 3,393

October 17 - 3,509

Total: 25,896

To sum up the above mentioned data, the seven day period from October 11 to 17 shows that 25,896 tests were conducted, while the same time period from September 11 to 17 shows that 41,996 tests were conducted.

At the same time, it must be noted that Pune's COVID-19 positivity rate has dropped significantly, over the last month. As per reports, the rate within the Pune Municipal Corporation's jurisdiction areas have reached 14.1% this week (between October 9 and 15). The number of active patients have also come down. In contrast, the PMC had seen a 30.2% positivity rate a month ago, between September 11 and 17. The overall positivity rate since the beginning of the pandemic now stands at 22.56%.

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal