Centre, states discuss fresh spurt in Covid-19 cases

Centre, states discuss fresh spurt in cases; focus on strict enforcement of Covid-19 norms

These states and UTs have been reporting a high Covid-19 active caseload

A health worker takes a nasal swab sample of a passenger for coronavirus tests at the CSMT railway station, owing to surge in Covid-19 cases in Mumbai. Credit: PTI Photo

Eight states with rising Covid-19 numbers on Saturday have been asked not to lower their guard lest they squander away the gains of the last year.

“The states need to maintain a continued rigorous vigil in terms of containing the spread and not squander away the gains of the collective hard work of the last year,” Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba told senior officials from Telangana, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, J&K and West Bengal at a review meeting.

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These states and the Union Territory of J&K have either been reporting a high active caseload or witnessing a rising trend in the number of new cases since last week.

Gauba asked the officials not to lower their guard, enforce Covid-19 appropriate behaviour and deal firmly with violations. Also, it was strongly underlined that they need to follow effective surveillance strategies in respect of potential super spreading events.

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The review happens after reporting more than 16,000 deaths and 100 plus Covid-19 deaths for three consecutive days. On Saturday morning, the Union Health Ministry reported the registration of 16,488 new cases and 113 deaths in the last 24 hours.

Even though it still reports 3,000 plus fresh cases daily, Kerala is the only state with a clear declining Covid-19 trend. The epidemic curve is clearly on a rise in Maharashtra, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat.

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The States have been told to emphasise effective testing, comprehensive tracking, prompt isolation of positive cases and quick quarantine of close contacts. The level of RT-PCR and rapid antigen tests in the districts also need to be enhanced.

Gauba also advised the states to refocus on surveillance and stringent containment in the districts that are reporting a reduced number of tests and districts with high positivity and increased caseload. They are also to watch out for mutant strains and clustering of cases for early hotspot identification and control.

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