Centre writes to over six States including Maharashtra, Gujarat over rise in Covid cases

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New Delhi: Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry on Thursday wrote to the State governments of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka to follow a five-fold strategy of test, track, treat and vaccinations as these states witness a rise in Covid-19 cases.

India has observed a significant decline in the number of Covid-19 cases during the past few months. However, in the past few weeks a rise in cases has been noted specifically in certain parts of the country with a total of 2,082 cases reported in the week ending March 8, 2023, which rose to 3,264 cases in the week ending March 15, said the Union Home Ministry’s letter.

There are few States which are reporting a higher number of cases indicating the possible localized spread of infection and there is 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 the Union Health Ministry.

“Maharashtra has reported an increase in weekly cases from 355 in the week ending March 8, 2023 to 668 in the week ending 15th Mar 2023. Further, the State reported a positivity rate of 1.92 per cent in week ending March 15 which is higher than India’s positivity rate of 0.61 per cent during the same period,” the letter read.

Gujarat has reported an increase in weekly cases from 105 in the week ending March 8, 2023 to 279 in the week ending March 15. Further, the State reported a positivity rate of 1.11 per cent in the week ending March 15 which is higher than India’s positivity rate of 0.61 per cent during the same period, the letter said.

“It is advised that State should examine the situation of COVID-19 at the micro level (district and sub-districts) and maintain focus on the implementation of necessary measures for prompt and effective management of Covid-19 duly ensuring effective compliance with various advisories issued by this Ministry.”

According to Union Health Ministry, there are 4,623 active Covid cases in the country. Maharashtra reported 125 new Covid cases on Thursday while Karnataka reported 42 cases. Notably, Karnataka also reported a death due to disease on Thursday.

Tamil Nadu reported 12 Covid cases, Telangana 29 and Gujarat logged 68 cases on Thursday. Kerala reported 36 cases Covid cases on Thursday, as per Union Health Ministry.

In the nationwide Covid vaccination drive, 220,64,80,756 doses were administered so far.

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