The snowballing Covid-19 numbers from 216 to 72,237 from May 17 to August 8 may not be telling the real story if the civic body’s data were to be believed.
The data which the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike released on Sunday showed that the disease is getting under control. BBMP commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad attributed it to extensive testing.
Titled 'Covid-19 Cases Growth Pattern Scorecard', the data captures the progress of the disease with a 7-day and 30-day moving average growth rate. This way, experts said, the efficacy of the steps taken could be measured.
One of the experts gave an explanation: “If, for example, Bengaluru had 30,000 cases on July 1 and 50,000 cases on July 31, then the formula to calculate the increase of cases over a 30-day period is cases on the last day of the month minus cases on the first of the month, divided by the cases on the first day of the month.”
“In the subsequent week, we take the value of the fifth week and the value of the second week and calculate the growth. If we keep calculating for five to six weeks, the rate of growth indicates whether the actions taken are yielding results or not,” the explanation read further.
Prasad said the fatality numbers are falling since testing is identifying more people in the early stages of the disease. For the first time, civic authorities undertook 16,000 cases on Saturday.
“If you compare the number of new cases with the positivity rate 30 days ago, the numbers are lower,” he added.
He cautioned that the numbers need not necessarily indicate that things are completely under control. “We need to conduct more tests,” Prasad said. “It could be as many as 20,000 a day to contain the outbreak. The data resulting will help us strategise on how to bring down the disease further.”
As per the data released by the BBMP, Bengaluru’s Covid-positive growth rate was 109 on June 6, two days before Unlock 1.0. The numbers then climbed dramatically to 1,467 on July 11, but have since plummeted to 144 on August 8.
The data shows that the fatality rates have fallen from 119 on June 13 to 93 on August 3, after hitting a peak of 651 in the sixth week (July 25).
Independent observers monitoring burials in the East zone have corroborated the development.
Just 15 days ago, nearly 40 Covid-19 burials were taking place daily. But the numbers have declined sharply, said Saqib Idrees, a volunteer helping the BBMP and the East zone community with the burials.
“On Saturday, there were only nine burials in the East zone,” he said.