The center on Tuesday advised Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra and Mizoram to keep strict watch and, if necessary, take preventive measures in the areas of concern to contain any emerging spread of the coronavirus.
As these states and the Union Territory of Delhi report a higher contribution to India’s COVID-19 caseload and a higher positivity rate, the Center advised them to focus on monitoring clusters of new cases and containment efforts to also reduce the spread of the virus. contain the infection as with vaccination of the appropriate population, including primary vaccination and administration of precautionary doses.
In a letter, Health Minister Rajesh Bhushan advised Delhi and the four states to adopt the fivefold strategy of “test-track-treat vaccination and compliance with Covid-appropriate behavior”, with a particular emphasis on wearing masks in busy areas.
“It is essential that states closely monitor and, if necessary, take preventive measures in all areas of concern to control the emerging spread of the infection. Testing and surveillance remain important to monitor the virus, its spread and evolution,” said Mr. Bhushan in the letter.
Laxity at any level could negate gains made so far in Covid management, he stressed.
India has witnessed a continued and significant drop in new cases of COVID-19 over the past two months, with the country reporting around 1,000 daily cases in recent weeks. The weekly positivity rate has remained below one percent, Mr Bhushan emphasized in the letter.
The Minister of Health advised all states and territories of the Union to adopt a risk-based approach when opening economic and social activities, without losing the gains made so far in the fight against the pandemic.
Regular monitoring of influenza-like illness (ILI) and SARI cases in all health facilities to detect early warning signs of the spread of infection, genomic sequencing for the prescribed samples from international passengers, collection of samples from sentinel stations (identified health facilities and sewage samples ) and local clusters of cases have also been advised.
Mr Bhushan stressed that Delhi has reported an increase in new cases from 998 in the week ending April 12 to 2,671 in the week ending April 19. 3.49 percent last week.
Haryana has reported an increase in new cases from 521 in the week ending April 12 to 1,299 in the week ending April 19. It has also seen the positivity rate rise from 1.22 percent to 2.86 percent last week, Mr Bhushan noted in the letter.
Uttar Pradesh has reported an increase in new cases from 217 in the week ending April 12 to 637 in the week ending April 19. It has also seen an increase in its positivity rate from 0.03 percent to 0.09 percent last week.
Maharashtra has reported 693 new cases in the week ending April 19. The state also saw an increase in its positivity rate from 0.39 percent to 0.4 percent last week.
Mizoram has reported 539 new Covid cases in the week ending April 19 and has also witnessed an increase in positivity rate from 16.11 percent to 16.68 percent, the letter said.