Rise in cases: Centre tells UP, 7 other states to strengthen Covid vigil
UP reported a test positivity rate of 2.19% in the week ending April 19, which is less than the national average of 5.5%. One district in state saw a positivity rate of more than 10% and four others recorded a figure between 5% and 10%
LUCKNOW Amid rising cases of Covid, the Centre on Friday asked eight states, including Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, to maintain a strict watch and take pre-emptive action in any area of concern to control any emerging spread of infection.
“UP has reported an increase in weekly cases - from 279 in the week ending April 13 to 696 in the week ending April 20,” said a letter from Rajesh Bhushan, secretary, union health and family welfare ministry.
Underlining that Covid is still not over, Bhushan in a letter to UP, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Haryana and Delhi, urged them to remain cautious against laxity at any level that may nullify the gains made in pandemic management so far.
While the rates of hospitalisation and deaths due to Covid-19 have remained low, states or districts reporting higher number of cases may indicate a possible localised spread of infection thus necessitating a closer look at these states or districts (high daily cases and/or high-test positivity rates) and the need to institute requisite public health measures to control and contain such surges in the initial stages, he said.
UP reported a test positivity rate of 2.19% in the week ending April 19, which is less than the national average of 5.5%. But one district in Uttar Pradesh saw a positivity rate of more than 10% and four others recorded the figure between 5% and 10%.
“It is critical for the state health department to institute prompt and effective health measures with key focus on strengthening surveillance in all districts, monitor trends in influenza-like illness and SARI (severe acute respiratory illness), maintain adequate level of testing, especially in emerging hotspots, increase samples for genome sequencing, strengthen hospital infrastructure,” stated the letter.
The country has been witnessing a consistent rise in Covid cases since March, with 10,262 cases reported in the week ending April 20. A rise in positivity rate has also been noted across the country, with 5.5% positivity reported in the week ending April 19 against 4.7% positivity reported in the previous week, said Bhushan.