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Centre issues 5-point advisory for states witnessing spike in Covid cases

More than 74% of the active cases of the country are in Kerala and Maharashtra, says Union Health Ministry while asking states to raise proportion of RT-PCR Covid tests

Coronavirus | Health Ministry

BS Web Team 

BMC health workers conduct thermal screening of outstation passengers at Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, in Mumbai (Photo: PTI)

Central government on Sunday issued a five-point advisory to states that have lately been witnessing spike in daily new cases.

"India has been witnessing a rise in the active caseload over the past few days. India’s total active caseload is pegged at 1,45,634 today. It now consists of 1.32% of India’s total positive cases. More than 74% of the active cases of the country are in Kerala and Maharashtra. 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," said Ministry of and Family Welfare in an official statement.

In the last four weeks in Kerala, 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 in Kerala has ranged from 13.9% to 8.9%. "In Kerala, 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," said the ministry.

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," said MoHFW.

Punjab is rapidly assuming critical dimension in respect of the spread of Covid-19 infection, the ministry observed. "n 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. 5 states/UTs have weekly Positivity Rate more than the national average. The national average is 1.79%. Maharashtra has highest weekly positivity rate with 8.1%," the ministry said.

Centre has advised all these States to work on five major areas. These are:

1) Improve the overall testing numbers by focusing on increasing the proportion of RT-PCR tests.

2) All negative Rapid Antigen Test results to be mandatorily followed by RT-PCR test and no such negative persons are to be missed.

3) Refocus on strict and comprehensive surveillance as well as stringent containment in selected districts.

4) Regular monitoring of the mutant strains through testing followed by Genome Sequencing, as well as monitoring of the emerging cluster of cases.

5) Focusing on clinical management in districts reporting higher deaths.

On the Covid vaccination front, India’s cumulative vaccination coverage has crossed 1.1 crore, said government

As on 18th February, 2021, till 8 AM, a total of 1,10,85,173 vaccine doses have been administered through 2,30,888 sessions, as per the provisional report till 8 am on Sunday. These include 63,91,544 HCWs (1st dose), 9,60,642 HCWs (2nd dose) and 37,32,987 FLWs (1st dose).

The 2nd dose of COVID19 vaccination started on 13th February, 2021 for those beneficiaries who have completed 28 days after receipt of the 1st dose. Vaccination of the frontline workers started on 2 Feb, 2021.

As on Day-36 of the vaccination drive (21st February, 2021), a total of 4,32,931 vaccine doses were administered. Out of which, 2,56,488 beneficiaries were vaccinated across 8,575 sessions for 1st dose (HCWs and FLWs) and 1,76,443 HCWs received 2nd dose of vaccine.

60.04% of those who have received the second dose are concentrated in 7 States. Karnataka alone accounts for 11.81% (1,13,430 doses).

A total of 1.06 Cr (1,06,89,715) people has recovered so far. 11,667 patients have recovered and got discharged in the last 24 hours. India’s Recovery Rate at 97.25% is amongst the highest in the world.

81.65% of the new recovered cases are observed to be concentrated in 5 States.

Kerala has reported the maximum number of single day recoveries with 5,841 newly recovered cases. 2,567 people recovered in Maharashtra in the past 24 hours followed by 459 in Tamil Nadu.

85.61% of the new cases are from 5 states.

Maharashtra continues to report the highest daily new cases at 6,281. It is followed by Kerala with 4,650 while Karnataka reported 490 new cases. Only two states – Maharashtra and Kerala account for 77% of daily new cases reported over the last 24 hours.

Twenty two states/UTs have not reported any COVID19 deaths in the last 24 hours. These are Gujarat, Odisha, J&K(UT), Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Jharkhand, Puducherry, Assam, Meghalaya, Lakshadweep, Manipur, Mizoram, Sikkim, Ladakh (UT), Nagaland, A&N Islands, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, D&D and D&N.

101 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.

Five states account for 80% of the new deaths. Maharashtra saw the maximum casualties (40). Kerala reported 13 deaths. Punjab has reported another 8 casualties.

In last 24 hours, only 1 state has reported more than 20 deaths; 10 to 20 deaths have been reported by just 1 state; 6 to 10 deaths have been reported by 2 states and 10 states have reported 1 to 5 deaths.

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First Published: Sun, February 21 2021. 12:55 IST