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Meghalaya has lowest Covid test rate in NE
Raju Das
 SHILLONG, June 29 - Meghalaya has the lowest COVID-19 positive cases (50) in the North East, but it is also conducting the lowest number of tests for COVID 19 among all the northeastern states.

In fact, Meghalaya’s test rate is 50 per cent or less than all northeastern states, barring Nagaland.

According to data available till June 27, Meghalaya having a population of 32.24 lakh has conducted 18,037 tests. Therefore, it has tested just 5,595 samples per million and this ratio is the lowest among the northeastern states.

As far as testing facilities are concerned, Meghalaya has two major centres, one at NEIGRIHMS in the State Capital and the other at Tura Civil Hospital, Garo Hills. There are a few other centres which can conduct a limited number of tests.

In fact, the Tura centre conducted the first RT-PCR test recently. Chief Minister Conard Sangma tweeted on Saturday: “Congratulations to the team at Civil Hospital Tura for the first 34 RT-PCR tests conducted in Tura. Installed capacity is 90 tests per day.”

As far as other NE states are concerned, Manipur which has a population close to Meghalaya with 31.03 lakh, has tested 48,220 samples and it has therefore tested 15,540 per million of its population.

Manipur has conducted the highest test per million in the northeast, closely followed by Tripura with 15,329 tested per million, Sikkim 15,390 per million and then Arunachal Pradesh with 15,042 tested per million.

Mizoram and Assam have conducted 10,777 per million and 10,921 per million tests respectively.

Nagaland has the second lowest rate. It has conducted 14,217 tests till June 27, which translates to 6,613 per million tests. Nagaland has a population of 21.50 lakh. All other northeastern states have conducted over 10,000 per million tests.

Assam has so far conducted the highest number of tests: 3,74,519. It has a population of 342.93 lakh. Tripura has conducted the second highest 61,194 tests with a population of 39.92 lakh.

Among the northeastern states, Nagaland, Sikkim, Manipur and Mizoram have not reported any Covid-related deaths so far. Only Meghalaya (1), Assam (11), Arunachal Pradesh (1) and Tripura (1) have reported Covid deaths.

On the other hand, Meghalaya has the highest recovery rate with 42 people having recovered out of the total 50 positive cases reported, with one dead.

The recovery percentage of Meghalaya is therefore the highest in India at 84 per cent.

Meanwhile, across the country, Bihar has the lowest testing rate at 1,660 per million. The Union Territory of Ladakh has the highest testing rate among states and Union Territories at 46,816 per million.

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