Centre expresses concern over hike in COVID-19 cases, suggests strict measures

Published: Feb 21, 2021, 1:41 pm IST

The Samikhsya Bureau

NEW DELHI: Worried over the rise in new COVID-19 cases across India, the Union Government has written to the State Governments and Union Territory administrations to adopt a set of strict measures.

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, the latest update released by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare reveals.

The Centre has advised all these States to work on five major areas. These include improve the overall testing numbers by focusing on increasing the proportion of RT-PCR tests and all negative Rapid Antigen Test results to be mandatorily followed by RT-PCR test and no such negative persons are to be missed.

It further included refocus on strict and comprehensive surveillance as well as stringent containment in selected districts, regular monitoring of the mutant strains through testing followed by Genome Sequencing, as well as monitoring of the emerging cluster of cases and focus on clinical management in districts reporting higher deaths.

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, the data released by the Ministry revealed.

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.

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%.

Punjab is rapidly assuming critical dimension in respect of the spread of COVID19 infection. In the State, in the last four weeks, the weekly positivity rate has increased from 1.4% to 1.6%.

Five States/UTs have weekly Positivity Rate more than the National Average. The National average is 1.79%. Maharashtra has highest weekly positivity rate with 8.10%.

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.

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.