From being the state with the third-highest number of cases in the country to being the eighth in a matter of 60 days, Madhya Pradesh has gained ground in the battle against coronavirus. As we report, the state’s recovery rate is 72% — second only to Rajasthan which has a recovery rate of over 78%.
MP’s doubling rate, i.e. the number of days in which positive cases are doubling up is also best in the country. The doubling rate of Covid-19 in Madhya Pradesh is 34.1 days while it is 18 plus days when taken nationally. These positive results can be chalked up to multi-pronged strategies. In containing the spread of Covid-19, it is imperative to break the chain of the virus spread which were achieved by involving rigorous contact tracing, isolation, testing and surveillance.
As a part of this process, first, rigorous contact tracing of the positive patients is done on an average 10 contacts of the positive patients. In cities like Bhopal and Gwalior, this has been more extensive. After this, surveillance for identification of severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) patients was done and till date, the surveillance of the entire state has been twice. Under this surveillance, ASHA and other health workers visit families to find out if there are any SARI patients. If these types of patients are found in large numbers in any area, then proper detailing is done.
The next aspect is isolation of the patients. So far, in cities like Indore, Bhopal and Ujjain, the authorities have been able to control the spread and managed to isolate people on time.
There is another factor which is involved in this process called Sampling. The sampling capacity has been increased 100 times from 60 to more than 7,000 a day. There are two types of tests, one is the test of those people who meet the criteria laid down by ICMR. This test is to be done mandatorily and it is being done for free by the government. But there are several cases where people voluntarily want to get tested for their own satisfaction. For this, they could approach the laboratories and get themselves tested. There is no restriction to testing, but these voluntary tests are not free.
Within a time span of 24 days, Madhya Pradesh has increased the number of Covid-19 testing labs from 20 to 78. There has been no major increase in testing capacity, though. It has been increased from 6000 samples per day on May 16 to 7100 on June 18.
The state government has tested around 5800 samples a day in the first week of May with only 20 labs with RT-PCR machines. However, the number remained stagnant around 6000 samples for the last one-and-a-half-month and the state reported a drop in the number of new positive cases.
The installation of around 58 Truenat testing machines in the districts helped the state in increasing the capacity which are installed in district hospitals for testing of Covid-19 suspects.
With the increase in the number of labs, the state stood at 4th spot behind Uttar Pradesh (109), Maharashtra (98), and Karnataka (72) in terms of labs.
Meeting the criteria of the Indian Council of Medical Research, all the possible cases are being tested free of cost. However, if someone wants to get tested in the private labs, he can do it by paying the charges. Furthermore, so far, the positivity rate is one of the lowest in the country.
In the 6000 samples, which were tested per day, 25% samples were from Indore district only.