Covid cases on rise, Centre asks eight states to act

The Union Health Secretary has written to eight states with increasing Covid-19 cases to step up measures to contain the spread.

The official, Rajesh Bhushan, sent the letter to Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Haryana and Delhi.

He asked them to undertake a number of steps: strengthen surveillance, monitor trends in influenza-like illnesses and severe acute respiratory infections, maintain adequate testing, increase samples sent for genome sequencing, ensure readiness of healthcare facilities and encourage uptake of the third vaccine dose.

India had 11,692 new Covid-19 cases in the latest reported 24-hour period, according to a government bulletin issued Friday. This is the highest number of daily cases the country has seen since the small surge reported in June-July last year, when the BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants of omicron were first reported in India.

The positivity rate — the proportion of samples tested that return positive for the infection — has also been on the rise, standing at 5.5 per cent during the week ending April 19.

The number of hospitalisations and deaths, however, have remained low. Data presented during a review meeting by the principal secretary earlier this week showed that 92 per cent of all active cases saw recovery in home isolation.

The letter said: “The pandemic is still not over, and we must remain cautious against laxity at any level, which may nullify the gains made in pandemic management so far.”

Uttar Pradesh reported 696 cases during the week ending on April 20. The positivity rate of the state stood at 2.19 per cent, less than the country’s average.

Tamil Nadu reported 510 cases during the week ending on April 20. During this time, Rajasthan saw 435 cases, Maharashtra’s 872, Kerala 2,602, Karnataka 369, Haryana 910 and Delhi 1,471.

Tamil Nadu reported 510 cases during the week ending on April 20. During this time, Rajasthan saw 435 cases, Maharashtra’s 872, Kerala 2,602, Karnataka 369, Haryana 910 and Delhi 1,471.

Tamil Nadu had a positivity rate of 6 per cent, Rajasthan 5.81 per cent, Maharashtra 6.87 per cent, Kerala 28.25 per cent, Karnataka 2.83 per cent, Haryana 19.28 per cent and Delhi 29.65 per cent.

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