Covid-19: Centre says Maharashtra, Punjab, Chhattisgarh cause of maximum concern
The Centre said on Tuesday that Maharashtra, Punjab and Chhattisgarh are still the cause of maximum concern because of the high number of COVID-19 cases being reported there daily.
At a press conference, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said the COVID-19 situation in Maharashtra is concerning because of its share in the total number of cases as well as in total deaths.
The situation in Punjab and Chhattisgarh is worrying because of their share in the number of deaths, he said.
Chhattisgarh's Durg is among the top 10 districts with high active COVID cases. Seven districts in Maharashtra, one in Karnataka and Delhi, taken as one district, is in list, Bhushan said.
The 10 districts with the highest number of new cases are Pune, Mumbai, Thane, Nagpur, Nashik, Bengaluru Urban, Aurangabad, Ahmednagar, Delhi and Durg, he said.
The average daily cases in Maharashtra has increased from 3,051 between February 10 and 16 to 44,624 between March 31 and April 6. Maharashtra accounts for 58 per cent of the cases being reported in the country.
The average daily deaths have also increased from 32 between February 10 and 16 to 250 between March 31 and April 6. It has contributed to 34 per cent to total deaths.
The states have been asked to increase the rate of RT-PCR tests. This number is falling in Maharashtra in the last few weeks, from 71.6 per cent between February 10 and 16 to 60.1 per cent between March 31 and April 6, Bhushan said.
The weekly positivity rate in this period rose from 6.21 per cent to 24.41 per cent.
"We have recently told Maharashtra that mobile testing laboratories can be used in areas with difficult terrain for which ICMR is helping the state government.
"Chhattisgarh is a matter of concern as though it is a smaller state with less population, it accounts for six per cent of the total COVID cases in the country and three per cent of the deaths," Bhushan said.
The condition of Chhattisgarh was not this serious during the first wave. But in second wave, it is not the just infections but even deaths are increasing, he said.
The daily cases in Chhattisgarh has increased from 226 between February 10 and 16 to 4976 in March 31 and April 6. The average daily deaths have also increased from five on Febxruary 10 and 16 to 38 between March 31 and April 6
The number of RT-PCR tests has been low. From 35.2 per cent on Feb 10-16, it reduced to 30.6 per cent in March 31-April 6. We have requested the state government to increase the number of tests, he said.
The weekly positivity rate during this period rose from 1.20 per cent to 16.71 per cent.
"If we look at Punjab, three per cent of the total cases are being reported from Punjab now and it accounts for 4.5 per cent of the total fatalities in the country,” he said.
The daily cases in Punjab has increased from 240 between February 10 and 16 to 2793 between March 31 and April 6. The average daily deaths during the same periods have also increased from eight to 58.
The average RT-PCR test is 76 per cent, which is satisfactory, the Union health secretary said, adding the weekly positivity rate in the period rose from 1.30 per cent to 8.75 per cent and to reduce that the number of tests have to be scaled up.
The Centre has constituted 50 high-level multi-disciplinary public health teams and deployed them to districts reporting a surge in cases and mortality in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Punjab, Bhushan said.
These teams were being deployed in 30 districts of Maharashtra, 11 of Chhattisgarh and nine of Punjab. They will assist the state health department and local authorities in COVID-19 surveillance, control and containment measures.
"They will see how we can streamline testing, make effective contact tracing including surveillance and containment, build hospital infrastructure, including ICU, ventilator and oxygen beds and effective enforcement of COVID-appropriate behavior and vaccination," Bhushan added.