The Centre has put eight states on high alert as they have recorded a high number of COVID-19 cases and a rising positivity rate that indicates the infections are spreading faster.
“The pandemic is still not over, and we must remain cautious against laxity at any level, which may nullify the gains made in pandemic management so far,” Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said in a letter to the eight states.
The eight states that to which letters have been sent are Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi.
The number of districts in these states with over 10 per cent positivity rate is Kerala (14), Tamil Nadu (11), Maharashtra (8), Haryana (12), Delhi (11) and Rajasthan (6).
The health secretary said while hospitalisation rate and deaths due to Covid have remained low, states and districts reporting higher number of cases indicates a localised spread of infection.
“This has necessitated a closer look at these states and districts (high daily cases and/or high test positivity rates) and the need to institute requisite public health measures to control and contain such surges in the initial stages,” Mr Bhushan said in the letter.
The centre asked the states to strengthen Covid surveillance in all districts and monitor trends of influenza-like illness and severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) cases.
The states have been told to increase the number of positive samples sent for genome sequencing through the INSACOG network of laboratories, especially from any new clusters of cases detected in the community so that new strains of coronavirus, if any, can be quickly detected.
Meanwhile, India recorded 11,692 new Covid cases today with active caseload for the disease going up to 66,170, according to the Health Ministry data.