The 3T weapon to battle the pandemic in Odisha has gone blunt. The tried and tested protocol of 'Test, Track and Treatment' to break the viral run has been given a go by in the State, thanks to its pre-occupation in Panchayat polls.
The state of affairs in the State Capital is the live instance of straying away from the Covid protocol by the Odisha Health department in battling the Third Wave, which INSACOG in its latest bulletin has warned about the very existence of 'high threat' to the country when the community transmission of Omicron is on in big cities.
A Glaring 3T Miss
While the State Health Department seems happy over the daily dip in new infections, the perturbing fact is the declining daily caseload seems directly proportional to a drop in daily tests.
Bhubaneswar Live Instance
On January 19, the number of new positives detected in the Capital city was 1414, where the cases of community transmission stood at 1370.
On January 23, the city's civic body BMC informed that the daily caseload on the day has been 1275, and the local transmission cases at 1254.
At the outset, data shows a drop in the count of new infections. But there is more than meets the eye.
A deeper digging reveals the worsening of the pandemic scenario in Bhubaneswar. Consider the following.
On Jan 19, the total tests conducted in the Capital city were 7,700. And the daily positive rate on the day was around 18.4 percent
On Jan 23, the total tests conducted in the city were around 5,304. And the daily positive rate in the State Capital increased to nearly 24 percent (23.6%).
The daily TPR graphs a rise in daily positivity rate by 6 percent, despite a sharp drop of the daily tests by over 31 percent during the period.
By WHO Book
According to WHO, in two scenarios the percent positive will be high -
- If the number of positive tests is too high,
- Or if the number of total tests is too low.
The high percent positive on Jan 23, despite a sharp drop in the tests underlines the second condition of the WHO mentioned above.
As per WHO, "A higher percent positive suggests higher transmission and that there are likely more people with coronavirus in the community who haven’t been tested yet."
The remedy, as per WHO, is there are two ways to lower the percent positive:
- Reduce the amount of coronavirus transmission or
- Increase the number of people who get tested.
Third Wave Slackening Fight
In the Capital City, except for night curfews with no scientific rationale, even WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan has also labelled it unscientific recently, no other restrictions to break the transmission cycle are in place.
Moreover, the number of daily tests have started dwindling in the Capital city. Sample the chronology given below.
- Daily tests conducted in Bhubaneswar on Jan 14 -- 9360
- The daily test positive rate on Jan 14 was ---- 12.3 percent
- Daily tests done in Bhubaneswar on Jan 16 ---- 8381
- The daily positive percent on Jan 16 was ------ 15.8 percent
- Daily tests taken in Bhubaneswar on Jan 19 ---- 7700
- The daily positive percent on Jan 19 was ----- 18.3 percent
- Daily tests carried out in Capital on Jan 23------ 5304
- The daily positive percent on Jan 23 was ----- 23.6 percent
A study of the 3T model in the Capital city for the period of Jan 14 -23 crystal clearly reveals a rise in daily test positivity rate when daily tests are on a freefall mode.
Community Transmission In Bhubaneswar
As per the last genome sequencing data released by the Institute of Life Sciences, Bhubaneswar on Jan 19, a total of 7 in every 10 samples from Khordha district confirmed the Omicron genome.
In the above context, consider the share of local pandemic epidemiology in the City.
- On Jan 14, the share of local transmission cases in the city was 91.3 percent
- On Jan 16, the share of local transmission cases in the city was 97.6 percent
- On Jan 19, the share of local transmission cases in the city was 96.8 percent
- On Jan 23, the share of local transmission cases in the city was 98.4 percent
The above data very clearly portrays the third wave epidemiology in State Capital. During the last over 7-days, the local transmission cases have been dominant in the daily caseload. Now, over 98 percent of daily cases in the Capital City are from the local transmission.
In such a backdrop, when the local transmission is brisk, the curtail in daily tests pops up a very careless pandemic policy of the Odisha Health Department.