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Covid-19 Surge: Centre writes Delhi, 6 states stressing precaution

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Covid-19 Surge: Centre writes Delhi, 6 states stressing precaution
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New Delhi: The Centre directed Delhi and six other states to facilitate adequate testing, promote Covid-appropriate behaviour and increase the pace of vaccination to battle the recent surge in Covid-19 cases in the country, PTI reported.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan's letter addressed to Delhi, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana suggested that upcoming festivals and mass congregations in various parts of the country might have the potential to boost the transmission of infectious diseases, including COVID-19.

The minister said it is important that sufficient testing is conducted in all these states, maintaining the recommended numbers of RT-PCR and antigen tests. The states must put those districts, which report higher cases, positivity rates and clusters under surveillance, the minister stated in the letter dating August 5.

In the letter addressed to Delhi, Bhushan mentioned that the UT has been reporting 811 cases per day on average in the past month.

The national capital contributed 8.2 per cent of India's weekly new cases in the week ending August 5. It also recorded 1.86 times increase in average daily new cases from 802 in the week ending July 29 to 1,492 in the week ending August 5. An increase in the weekly positivity rate was also reported in Delhi -- from 5.90 per cent in the week ending July 29 to 9.86 per cent in the week ending August 5.

Bhushan said that Kerala had reported 2,347 average cases per day in the last month, while Maharashtra had 2,135 cases. He suggested states comply with the revised surveillance strategy for COVID-19, which has been shared by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

He said, "In view of some changes in symptoms and clinical manifestation of the disease, it is crucial to monitor and report district-wise influenza-like illness (ILI) and SARI cases in all health facilities as per the guidelines, on a regular basis for detecting early warning signals of the spread of infection. This will enable us to take pre-emptive action if required, in any areas of concern."

The minister stressed that genome sequencing of prescribed samples of international passengers as well as the collection of samples from sentinel sites and the local cluster of new COVID-19 cases is equally important. States and UTs must promptly send such samples to designated labs of the INSACOG network for genome sequencing.

He said, "Renewed attention needs to be paid for ensuring of Covid-appropriate behaviour in crowded places like markets, inter-state bus stands, schools, colleges, railway stations, etc.'

"States should aim to increase the pace of vaccination for all eligible population and accelerate the administration of free precaution doses for 18-plus eligible population at all Government Covid Vaccination Centres (CVCs) under the 'COVID Vaccination Amrit Mahotsav' till September 30," he stated.

He advised the state to strictly follow the five-fold strategy of test-track-treat vaccinate as well as adhering to Covid-appropriate behaviour.

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TAGS:Covid-19 India Union Health Secretary Delhi Kerala Karnataka Maharashtra Odisha Tamil Nadu Telangana RT-PCR antigen test 
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