New Delhi: Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan Saturday wrote letters to six states highlighting that several of their districts were seeing rise in new Covid-19 cases. He urged the authorities in these states to take the necessary steps to keep the situation in control.
In separate letters to health officials of Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Odisha and Mizoram, Bhushan pointed out that in context of the new ‘variant of concern’ Omicron, all states have already been advised to undertake enhanced surveillance of international travelers, continued monitoring of emerging hotspots and prompt contact tracing of positive individuals.
Bhushan also advised states to send all positive samples from international travellers for genome sequencing, as well as review health infrastructure preparedness, including in rural areas and for pediatric cases.
The Union health official pointed out that Kerala has reported 1,71,521 new cases between 3 November and 3 December — contributing 55.87 per cent of India’s new cases in the past month.
As many as 13 out of 14 districts of Kerala are reporting a high number of weekly new cases, Bhushan said. Moreover, four districts are showing high weekly positivity of more than 10 per cent — Thiruvananthapuram (11.61 per cent), Wayanad (11.25 per cent), Kozhikode (11 per cent) and Kottayam (10.81 per cent).
Kerala has also reported an increase in weekly new deaths. It saw 2,118 deaths in the week ending 3 December, up from 1,890 deaths in the previous week ending 26 November.
Rise in other states
Odisha reported 71,445 cases in the past month, contributing 25 per cent of India’s new cases.
Several districts in the state saw a sharp rise in numbers over the past week. In Dhenkanal, there was a 666.7 per cent rise in one week — from just nine cases to 69 cases. Kandhamal, Nabarangpur, Kendujhar, Angul and Balangir were some of the other districts flagged.
Meanwhile the number of tests conducted in the state saw a 3.1 per cent drop. Only 36 per cent of the total tests being conducted were done using RT-PCR.
Four districts of Mizoram — Saiha, Khawzawl, Serchhip and Mamit — saw a rise in new cases. Meanwhile, eight out of 11 districts in the state are showcasing high weekly positivity of over 10 per cent. These include Champhai, Serchhip, Saitual, Hnahthial, Mamit, Siaha, Lunglei and Aizawl.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district saw a rise of 727 per cent within a week, with new cases increasing from 49 on 19 November to 405 on 25 November.
Tamil Nadu’s Vellore district saw a 31.63 per cent increase in cases in the last week, Bhushan pointed out.
A 152 per cent increase in cases was observed in the Tumakuru district of Karnataka over the last week — with new cases rising from 46 to 116.
“Increase in weekly new deaths has been noted in Bengaluru urban, from 8 new deaths reported in the week ending 25 November to 14 deaths in the week ending 2 December,” Bhushan wrote.
“In this context, required necessary steps to control the spread of infection and reduce fatality need to be taken as per the ongoing strategy of Test-Track-Treat-Vaccinate-Covid Appropriate Behaviour to keep the situation under control,” Bhushan wrote to the states.
(Edited by Amit Upadhyaya)