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Centre asks states to ramp up Covid-19 preparedness as cases rise

At 1,890, India's Covid-19 count rises to five-month high

coronavirus

Ruchika Chitravanshi New Delhi

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The Centre held a review meeting on Monday to take stock of the preparedness as Covid-19 cases rose to a five-month high in the country and weekly positivity rates jumped significantly in several states.

Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan chaired the meeting and asked the states to be on the alert and ensure preparedness for Covid-19 management.

The weekly positivity rate in Maharashtra went up to 4.58 per cent on March 24, up from 0.54 per cent in the week ending March 3. For the same period, Himachal Pradesh has seen weekly positivity go up to 7.48 per cent from 1.92 per cent. In Kerala, the weekly positivity has increased to 4.51 per cent from 1.47 per cent. And in Delhi, it reached 4.25 per cent, from 0.53 per cent.

The daily positivity rate in the country has increased to 3.19 per cent on Monday while the weekly positivity rate has reached 1.39 per cent. India reported the highest number of daily cases at 1,890, in five months on Sunday.

Weekly positivity refers to the percentage of people who test positive for the virus of those overall who have been tested.

States have been told to conduct mock drills across all health facilities on 10th and 11th April to ensure operational readiness of hospital infrastructure, including oxygen cylinders, PSA plants, ventilators, logistics and human resources.

Twenty-four districts in India are reporting more than 10 per cent weekly positivity in the week ending March 24, while 43 districts are reporting weekly positivity between 5-10 per cent in the same time period. 

The health ministry has asked the states to strengthen surveillance with focus on whole genome sequencing of positive samples, and increase testing with a higher proportion of RT-PCR tests.

The last mock drill was conducted on December 27 across 21,939 facilities, of which 16,601 were government and 5,338 were private facilities. 

“Over 94 per cent of PSA plants and oxygen concentrators were found functional across the country while over 87 per cent of ICU beds, ventilators, O2 beds and isolation beds were found in working condition,” a health ministry statement said. 

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First Published: Mar 27 2023 | 9:47 PM IST

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