Nearly 11 percent of those in the national capital who tested negative for COVID-19 in rapid antigen tests (RAT) but had symptoms for the disease were found to have been afflicted by the viral infection in RT-PCR test between September 1 and November 7, according to official data.
Out of the 56,862 symptomatic patients who tested negative in rapid antigen tests, 32,903 were retested through RT-PCR, and of the 3,524 were found COVID-19 positive, according to the data shared by health authorities in response to an RTI query filed by a PTI reporter.
In order to effectively curb the spread of coronavirus infection, the Union Health Ministry had in September asked all states and Union Territories to mandatorily retest all symptomatic cases found COVID-19 negative in rapid antigen tests through RT-PCR so that no positive case is missed.
For Delhi, the case positivity rate in RT-PCR, which is considered the gold standard for COVID-19 screening, was 20.97 percent in September, while it was only 4.77 percent when it comes to rapid antigen test, the RTI reply stated.
In October, positivity rates of Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) and rapid antigen test were 16.76 percent and 4.58 percent respectively. Between November 1 and 7, the rapid antigen positivity rate was 8.16 percent while for RT-PCR it was 27.2 percent.
According to the RTI reply, out of 27,533 symptomatic negative cases in rapid antigen test in September, only 4,597 were retested through RT-PCR and 623 found COVID-19 positive.
The next month, 24,737 out of 26,316 symptomatic negative cases were retested through RT-PCR, and 2,300 were found to have contracted the virus.
Between November 1 and 7, health authorities retested 3,569 of 4,013 symptomatic rapid antigen test negative cases and 601 were found infected with COVID-19, the RTI reply revealed.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah had chaired a high-level meeting on November 15 and gave 12 instructions, following a fresh spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the national capital.
However, there has been a decrease in the number of coronavirus cases in the last few days in Delhi and the city’s capacity for conducting RT-PCR tests has significantly has increased.
On Saturday, the national capital registered 3,419 new coronavirus cases, taking the infection tally to over 5.8 lakh, while the death toll rose to 9,574 with 77 more fatalities. The new cases came out of a record 81,473 tests, including 35,352 RT-PCR tests and the positivity rate slipped to 4.2 percent from 4.78 percent the previous day.