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Centre writes to States witnessing spike in daily new cases of COVID-19
New Delhi, February 21, 2021
The Centre has written to States which are witnessing a spike in the daily numbers of COVID-19 cases, advising them to work on five major areas to arrest the spread of the disease.
The States include Kerala, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir.
The States have been asked to improve the overall testing numbers by focusing on increasing the proportion of RT-PCR tests. All negative Rapid Antigen Test results to be mandatorily followed by RT-PCR test and no such negative persons are to be missed, the release said.
The States have been advised to refocus on strict and comprehensive surveillance as well as stringent containment in selected districts.
The release said there must be regular monitoring of the mutant strains through testing followed by Genome Sequencing, as well as monitoring of the emerging cluster of cases. There must also be a focus on clinical management in districts reporting higher deaths, it said.
An official press release said Kerala and Maharashtra account for more than 74% of the active cases of the coronavirus disease in the country at present.
"Of late it is seen that there has been a spike in the daily cases in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh also. Punjab and J&K too are witnessing a surge in daily new cases," it said.
According to the release, in Kerala, in the last four weeks, the average weekly cases have fluctuated between a high of 42,000 to a low of 34,800. Similarly, in the last four weeks, the weekly positivity rate in Kerala has ranged from 13.9% to 8.9%. The district of Alappuzha is a cause of special concern where the weekly Positivity Rate has increased to 10.7% and weekly cases have increased to 2,833.
In Maharashtra, in the last four weeks, the weekly cases have shown a rising trend and have increased from 18,200 to 21,300; while the weekly positivity has also increased from 4.7% to 8%. The areas of concern are the Mumbai Suburban areas where the weekly cases have risen by 19%. In Nagpur, Amravati, Nashik, Akola and Yavatmal the weekly cases have increased by 33%, 47%, 23%, 55% and 48%, respectively.
According to the release, Punjab is rapidly assuming critical dimension in respect of the spread of COVID19 infection. In the State, in the last four weeks, the weekly positivity rate has increased from 1.4% to 1.6%, while the weekly cases in the last four weeks have seen a rise from 1,300 to 1,682. In one district of SBS Nagar alone, the weekly positivity rate has become 4.9% from 3.5% and the weekly cases have more than doubled from 165 to 364.
Five States and Union Territories (UTs) have weekly Positivity Rate more than the National Average. They are Maharashtra, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Goa and Chandigarh.
The national average is 1.79%. Maharashtra has the highest weekly positivity rate with 8.10%.
Maharashtra reported 6,281 new cases of infection, followed by Kerala with 4,650. Together, they account for 77%of the new cases reported in the last 24 hours.