Is COVID-19 test data being fudged in UP? DTE investigates -Vivek Mishra

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published Published on May 12, 2021   modified Modified on May 13, 2021

-Down to Earth

With more than 230,000 pending COVID-19 reports, the actual daily caseload of UP can be much higher

Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, is in the middle of a COVID-19 maelstrom. Even as thousands are dying or getting infected, the experiences of patients shows that COVID-19 test results are getting delayed and the administration is fudging figures.

Down to Earth (DTE) analysed the government’s data related to the daily sample numbers and testing capacity of labs. It tells a completely different story than what the government claims.

The Adityanath government has claimed that more than 43 million RT-PCR and antigen tests have been conducted by it since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of these, 2.3 million tests were conducted in the last 10 days (April 28-May 7, 2021), according to the state. Some 1.1 million of these were RT-PCR tests.

According to the UP government, its highest capacity was 75,000 daily RT-PCR tests. This means that about 450,000 such tests would have been completed from April 28-May 3.

The state said it had increased its testing capacity to 105,000 RT-PCR tests between May 4 and May 7. Thus, the labs must have tested about 420,000 samples. The total RT-PCR samples tested from April 28-May 7 would be 870,000.

However, 0.23 million samples are still pending in various labs of the state.

On May 11, the government itself accepted that some 226,000 samples were pending, according to sources. On May 12, Chief Minister Adityanath asked officials to reduce pendency and take only those many samples that could be tested and their results provided without much delay.

The pendency is especially bedeviling UP’s many rural districts. It takes more than seven days to get the test results. The government has mandated that the results should be out within 24 to 48 hours.

UP has 104 private and 125 government testing labs. Most of the labs are in big cities. This has made ‘testing, tracing and treatment’ difficult. This is causing problems in the rural districts.

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Down to Earth, 12 May, 2021,

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