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In Punjab, 80% of cases are due to the UK variant of Covid-19. This has been confirmed by genome sequencing, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said, news agency ANI reported. He attributed the spike in cases to large weddings, local body elections, farmer protest, etc.

"In Punjab, 80% of cases are due to the UK variant of COVID19. This has been confirmed by genome sequencing. The increase in cases is event-driven like large weddings, local body elections, farmer protest, etc could have a role in it," said Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan.


The Centre said on Tuesday that Maharashtra, Punjab and Chhattisgarh are still the cause of maximum concern because of the high number of COVID-19 cases being reported there daily.

At a press conference, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said the situation in Punjab is worrying because of its share in the number of deaths. "If we look at Punjab, three per cent of the total cases are being reported from Punjab now and it accounts for 4.5 per cent of the total fatalities in the country," he said.

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The daily cases in Punjab has increased from 240 between February 10 and 16 to 2793 between March 31 and April 6. The average daily deaths during the same periods have also increased from eight to 58.

The average RT-PCR test is 76 per cent, which is satisfactory, the Union health secretary said, adding the weekly positivity rate in the period rose from 1.30 per cent to 8.75 per cent and to reduce that the number of tests have to be scaled up.

The Centre has constituted 50 high-level multi-disciplinary public health teams and deployed them to districts reporting a surge in cases and mortality in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Punjab, Bhushan said.

These teams were being deployed in 30 districts of Maharashtra, 11 of Chhattisgarh and nine of Punjab. They will assist the state health department and local authorities in COVID-19 surveillance, control and containment measures.


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