In the rest of the state, one of four RT-PCR report is Covid positive, which is a five-fold jump from the beginning of the month, when only one of 20 tests was positive.
“Laboratories in Kolkata and surrounding areas are reporting a positivity rate of 45%-55% while in other parts of the state the positivity rate is around 24%, up from 5% at the beginning of this month,” said a doctor linked with one of the largest laboratories conducting RT-PCR tests in the state.
“The actual positivity rate will be much higher. There would be so many asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic patients who are not getting themselves tested. We are not testing enough. We must not be deterred from testing more as this is one major tool to contain this wave,” he said.
As per the report, of the 25,766 samples tested in the state on April 1, only 1,274 samples were positive, a positivity of 4.9%. On Saturday, 55,060 samples were tested across the state and 25.9% samples or 14,281 persons were positive.
“One reason is the high transmissibility of the mutant virus which is infecting a large number of people in a short span of time. In most cases, entire families are getting infected. Another reason for the high positivity is that only those who are symptomatic are going in for the tests,” said Bhaskar Narayan Chaudhuri, microbiologist at Peerless Hospital.
Meanwhile, sources in the health department said while Kolkata, North and South 24 Parganas and Howrah have high positivity, the rate is going up in districts like Burdwan, Malda and Murshidabad as well.
West Bengal on Saturday registered the highest single-day spike of 14,281 COVID-19 cases pushing the tally to 7,28,061, the bulletin released by the state health department said. The death toll rose to 10,884 as 59 more people succumbed to the disease.