Home/ News / India/  Health ministry alerts six states on new and emerging covid cases

New Delhi: With India reporting an uptick in covid cases over the last few weeks, the government has directed six states to examine the situation at micro level and maintain compliance like surveillance, testing and monitoring new and emerging covid clusters.

India has seen a rise in covid cases over the past few weeks. A total of 2,082 cases were reported in the week ended 8 March but it rose to 3,264 cases in the week ended 15 March.

Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Kerala are the six states which have been reporting high number of cases.

“There are few states which are reporting higher number of cases indicating possible localized spread of infection and there’s a need to follow a risk assessment-based approach to prevent and contain the infection without losing the gains made so far in the fight against the pandemic," said Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.

Karnataka has reported an increase in weekly cases from 493 in the week ending 8 March to 604 cases in the week ending 15 March. The state reported a positivity rate of 2.77% which is higher than India’s positivity rate of 0.61% during the same period.

“It is advised that State should examine the situation of COVID-19 at micro level (district &sub-districts) and maintain focus on implementation of necessary measures for prompt and effective management of Covid-19 duly ensuring effective compliance with various advisories issued by this Ministry. The five-fold strategy, i.e., Test-Track Treat-Vaccination should be followed with continued focus on adequate &proactive testing as per guidelines, monitoring new and emerging clusters of new Covid-19 cases along with monitoring the trend of Influenza-like illness (ILI) & SARI cases in al health facilities or through dedicated fever clinics on a regular basis for detecting early warning signals of the spread of infection," Bhushan said in a letter seen by Mint.

Maharashtra has reported an increase in weekly cases from 355 to 668 with positivity rate of 1.92%. Gujarat has noted an increase in weekly cases from 105 to 279 having a positivity rate of 1.11% and on the other hand, Kerala has reported an increase in weekly cases from 434 to 579 with a positivity rate 2.64%.

According to the health ministry, Telangana has reported an increase in weekly cases from 132 to 267 and reported a positivity rate of 0.31%, while Tamil Nadu has reported an increase in weekly cases from 170 to 258 with a positivity rate of 1.99%.

The ministry has further directed the states to continue genomic sequencing for prescribed samples of international passengers, collection of samples from sentinel sites (identified health facilities), and local clusters of cases, upscale the pace for administration of booster shot for all eligible beneficiaries and ensure that state must maintain a strict watch in any areas of concern to control emerging spread of infection.

Besides this, people have been advised to follow covid appropriate behaviour, particularly in enclosed spaces and in crowded areas.

Priyanka Sharma
Priyanka Shamra is a health and pharma journalist with nearly nine years of field reporting experience. She is a special correspondent with Mint. Her beat includes covering the Ministry of Health and Department of Pharmaceuticals. She also covers the Ministry of Women and Child Development and the Department of Biotechnology.
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Updated: 16 Mar 2023, 06:14 PM IST
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