However, some states like MP, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh have done better, bringing down the positivity rate and containing the pandemic.
At least seven states and Union Territories have reported much higher positivity rates. These include Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi, Telangana, Chandigarh, Tamil Nadu and Bihar, each placed between 5% and 18%, the highest being Maharashtra.
Madhya Pradesh, which had struggled in the face of a surge in cases in Indore and Bhopal, has improved from 5% to 4% in the last two weeks (between May 7 and May 21). Other states with similar performances include West Bengal, which has brought down the positivity rate from 3% to 2%; Punjab, from 4% to 2%; Andhra Pradesh, from 0.9% to 0.6% and J&K and Haryana at 1%. There are, however, some questions on West Bengal with regard to testing.
States like Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand have a static positivity rate, below 1%.
Kerala, so far the best performing state, has kept the positivity rate at 1%. The recovery rate of Kerala is 65% as against MP’s 51%.
The positivity rate is one of the parameters employed by governments to assess whether a state is fit to be opened for normal economic activities or should continue to remain under lockdown. Case fatality and recovery rate, the latter read as a ratio with active cases, are other indicators.
High mortality and positivity rates are indicative that a state is only testing the sickest and not screening enough people for Covid-19 symptoms. Sufficient testing is key to containment of the pandemic.