Coronavirus cases went past the 8,000-mark in Andhra Pradesh on Saturday as 491 new people tested positive, taking the total to 8,452, even as the death toll rose to 101 with five fresh casualties. The latest COVID-19 bulletin said 4,111 patients were discharged in the state so far, leaving 4,240 active cases.
In a 24-hour period between Friday and Satuday, 390 locals from Andhra Pradesh tested positive in the 22,371 tests conducted in the state, the bulletin said. Another 83 people who came from other states and 18 people from abroad also tested positive.
Kurnool and Krishna, the two prime hotbeds of COVID-19 in AP, reported two fresh deaths each in the last 24 hours, while Guntur had one. The COVID-19 death toll thus touched 101, with Kurnool and Krishna accounting for 33 each, the worst in the state, followed by Guntur with 11.
A senior bureaucrat, when asked about the quantum jump in coronavirus cases in the state in the last few days, said it was basically due to change in confirmation guidelines.
"Previously the presumptive cases in TruNat machine tests were retested with RT-PCR. But now all such cases are directly treated as positive," he pointed out.
Earlier, of the every 20 presumptive positive cases, only two-third used to turn positive in RT-PCR tests. Now, however, all 20 were being confirmed as positive.
Besides, the state says that it has also been going aggressive in testing 60+-year-old people and those with comorbidities.
"We are targeting the right areas like containment zones, old towns, vegetable markets and also the right categories, including primary contacts and migrants. All this is reflecting in the growing number of COVID-19 positive cases," the bureaucrat added.
A sentinel surveillance for coronavirus is also being undertaken with 330 people chosen randomly per day in each district and tested.
Under this, people are randomly chosen in malls, religious places, construction sites, market yards and tested for the virus.
The Aarogya Setu App is also being extensively used to trace and test people in close proximity of thoe who have tested positive for the coronavirus.