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The Ministry of Health has asked all states and Union Territories (UTs) to immediately increase testing in a strategic manner keeping in view the trend of case positivity in specific areas in the States/UTs. 

The Centre said that it seems from the data that testing has declined in many states and UTs. 

“All those who are symptomatic must be tested. All at-risk contacts of laboratory confirmed cases must also be tested," said Arti Ahuja, Additional Secretary at Health Ministry.

She said identification of new clusters and new hotspots of infection which can in turn facilities immediate action for containment such as setting up of containment zones, contact tracing, quarantining, isolation and follow up. This can enable the state and district administration to curb the spread of infection.

"Ensuring reduction in mortality and morbidity. Progression of disease to a severe category can be averted by strategic testing of those who are at high risk and more vulnerable as well as in areas where the spread is likely to be higher," the secretary said.

The health official further said that it has been recommended that strategic and focused testing should be done of people who are vulnerable, living in closed surroundings in densely populated areas in emerging new clusters and new hotspots of positive cases etc.

"In order to ensure that an effective track of the spread of the pandemic is kept and also immediate citizen centric action is initiated, it is incumbent upon all states/UTs to enhance testing," Ahuja said in the letter.

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