The Centre on Thursday called for strict action to curb the spread of COVID-19 infection amid concerns of certain districts in the country having high positivity rates. Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan, in a letter to the eight states with the highest positivity rate, has urged them to initiate immediate action in order to curb the virus spread.
The eight states with most number of districts having high COVID-19 positivity rates are - Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Kerala, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Odisha and Sikkim. Bhushan has urged the eight states to share details of the actions taken by them under the Disaster Management Act.
"Although the trajectory of daily new cases has come down substantially in the country, there is need for continued monitoring of weekly case positivity, as well as case trajectory in each district to identify any early warning signals of spread of infection," Bhushan told the chief secretaries of states in the letter, according to The Times of India.
Arunachal Pradesh has more than a 10% COVID-19 positivity rate in 19 out of its 25 districts. The letter to the chief secretary of the state stated that is a matter of concern that Arunachal Pradesh reported a positivity rate of 16.2% between June 28 and July 4. According to Bhushan, the positivity rate in the state has been increasing during the last four weeks.
The Centre has highlighted the need for even stricter measures for containing the virus. It has emphasised increased testing and ramping up the vaccination drive in the states. "It is imperative to note that containment is the most crucial strategy of flattening the curve. It is critical to strengthen the for prompt contact-tracing and quarantine of all cases," the Centre's communication to the states said, as per the daily.
Over 60% of districts in India with a positivity rate of 10% or above are situated in the Northeast. Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla has asked the North Eastern states to follow five-fold strategy to combat the coronavirus. These are - test, track, treat, vaccinate and adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour.
In the meeting chaired by the Home Secretary, the current COVID-19 situation and vaccination status in North Eastern states were discussed. It was also noted that out of 73 districts in the country with CPR (case fatality rate) above 10 per cent, 45 are in the northeast, where strict containment measures need to be taken as per extant guidelines, a home ministry statement said.
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