An internal report of a sentinel surveillance conducted by the West Bengal health department has found that the COVID-19 positivity rate in most of the districts is zero, rubbishing apprehensions of a possible new wave of the pandemic, an official of the department said on Thursday.
The surveillance, conducted recently in 22 districts and five health districts of the state, found the COVID-19 positivity rate to be between 0 to 0.4 per cent, he said.
The city, which in itself is a district, was outside the purview of the sentinel surveillance.
The official said a total 10,710 samples were examined during the surveillance over three days between April 27 to April 29 by Kalyani College of Medicine and JNM Hospital.
The only health district where the positivity rate was found to be above one per cent is Bashirhat, which reported 1.06 per cent.
"This is an internal report on the sentinel surveillance which found that the positivity rate of Covid-19 pandemic in most of the districts of West Bengal is zero. This confirms that the chances of having another wave of the Covid-19 pandemic is almost nil. But we have to remain very alert," the official told PTI.
As many as 400 samples were collected from each district.
"We had a target of testing 10,800 samples, but 10,710 samples could be gathered. Out of them 10,682 tested negative which showed the average positivity rate is only 0.18 per cent. This shows that there is a breakthrough in the infection rates," the official said.
This was possible due to the successful vaccination programme carried out in the state, he added.
The report found that those who are yet to be vaccinated or was jabbed only once are more prone to the disease compared to the ones who are fully vaccinated.
"The positivity rate among those who are yet to be fully vaccinated or were jabbed only once is .25 per cent, which is .1 per cent among those who are fully vaccinated," he said.
The surveillance was not carried out in the city as state-run RG Kar Medical College and Hospital did not take part in it. However, the city's positivity rate was regularly provided in bulletins released by the health department daily which showed that it was below one per cent.
The sentinel surveillance is a monitoring of the rate of occurrence of a specific disease through a voluntary network of doctors, laboratories aiming to assess the stability in health levels of a population of a particular region.
Along with it the state government is also continuing its search to find out whether any new variant of the coronavirus has evolved in the state.