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Highlights:

  • As cases of Covid19 increased this week, the Centre writes to all States and UTs to increase testing. 
  • The Union Government has asked states and UTs to work on five areas.
  • The instructions came after the number of positive covid19 cases suddenly increased this week taking the tally of the infection to 11 million.
  • Chandigarh, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Maharashtra -have weekly positivity rates higher than the national average.

After a downward curve in Covid19 cases in India, this week there was a sudden rise, pushing the country’s disease curve upwards, on Sunday, the Centre wrote to all states and Union Territories (UTs) advising them to increase testing to contain the spread of the epidemic at the earliest.  

The Union Government has asked states and UTs to work on five areas – improve the overall testing numbers by focusing on increasing the proportion of RT-PCR tests, to re-focus on strict and comprehensive surveillance and stringent containment in districts selected, constant monitoring of mutant strains via testing followed by genome sequencing and screening of the emerging cluster of cases, give attention on clinical management in districts reporting higher deaths and all negative rapid antigen tests results to be mandatorily followed by RT-PCR test.  

The instructions came after the number of positive covid19 cases suddenly increased this week taking the tally of the infection to 11 million. Of the 10,991,651 positive cases, 145,634 are active, which accounts for 1.32% of the total confirmed cases. The sudden upward trend was due to the increase of Covid19 cases in Kerala and Maharashtra.

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) said that more than 74% of the active cases are from Kerala and Maharashtra. It added, “Of late it is seen that there has been a spike in the daily cases in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh also. Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir too are witnessing a surge in daily new cases.”

The Ministry added that Maharashtra reported the highest number of Covid cases with 6,281 cases followed by Kerala with 4,650 cases. These two states are responsible for 77% of the daily new cases. Pointing towards weekly data, the ministry stated that in Kerala the average weekly cases have fluctuated between a high of 42,000 to a low of 34,800 in the last four weeks.

During the same period, the weekly positivity in Kerala has ranged from 13.9% to 8.9%. As per the Government, the Alappuzha district of Kerala is a cause of special concern where the weekly positivity rate has hiked to 10.7% and weekly cases have increased to 2,833.

In Maharashtra meanwhile, the weekly cases have increased from 18,000 to 21,300 in just 4 weeks. The areas of concern in Maharashtra are suburban Mumbai areas where the weekly cases have risen by 19%. The Ministry added, there has been an increase in weekly cases in Nagpur, Amravati, Nashik, Aloka, and Yavatmal by 33%, 47% 23%55%, and 48% respectively.

Five states and UTs of Chandigarh, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Maharashtra -have weekly positivity rates higher than the national average. The National average is 1.79% while the weekly positive rate of Maharashtra is 8.10% the highest in India, added the Ministry. 

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