The Centre has written to six states where Covid-19 cases are witnessing a surge in the last few weeks. The states--Delhi, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Telangana-- have been asked to intensify the testing and tracing of suspected cases and increase the pace of vaccinations to control the spread of infections.
On Monday, India logged 16,167 fresh Covid-19 cases, marginally lower than Sunday's tally of 18,738 cases. Forty-one people succumbed to the infection in the last 24 hours, according to the union health ministry data. India currently has a caseload of 1,35,510.
State-wise Covid-19 tally
Delhi has been a matter of concern with the surge in Covid-19 cases in the past few weeks. Last week, the national capital contributed 8.2 per cent of country's weekly new cases. There has also been a spike in average daily new cases from 802 in the week ending July 29 to 1,492 in the week ending August 5. On Saturday, Delhi's positivity rate stood at a whopping 15%. The surge in cases had also been seen in April and June. However, the cases did not go beyond 1,800 mark, unlike this time.
The hospitalisations have also increased from around 100 in the third week of July to over 400 in the last few days.
Meanwhile, Kerala reported 2,347 average cases per day in the past month and Maharashtra 2,135 cases.
What is the Centre saying?
The Centre wrote to states where cases are rising and asked them to exercise caution in view of the festival season in different parts of the country. "Renewed attention needs to be paid for ensuring Covid-appropriate behaviour in crowded places like markets, inter-state bus stands, schools, colleges, railway stations, etc," Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan directed the states in a letter dated August 5.
He asked the states to be more vigilant in districts that are reporting higher cases to keep the situation in check, while ramping up testingand maintaining the recommended share of RT-PCR and antigen tests.
"In view of some changes in symptoms and clinical manifestation of the disease, it is crucial to monitor and report district-wise influenza-like illness (ILI) and SARI cases in all health facilities as per the guidelines, on a regular basis for detecting early warning signals of the spread of infection. This will enable us to take pre-emptive action if required, in any areas of concern," the union health secretary said in the letter.
Till Saturday, India recorded a cumulative of over 206 core COVID-19 vaccine doses being administered across the country, according to the health ministry. A total of 5,22,88,707 precautionary doses have been administered to those in the age group of 18 to 59. Meanwhile, 3.44 crore precautionary doses have been given to those in the age group of 60 and above.
The program for the precautionary doses was rolled out in April this year. However, states have reported a lukewarm response aong people with respect to precautionary doses.
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