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Enhance surveillance in Mumbai, other districts: Centre tells Maharashtra after Covid graph shoots up

Centre wrote to the Maharashtra health department to take necessary steps to contain the spread and avoid late detection of cases that might lead to a higher number of fatalities.

Written by Rupsa Chakraborty | Mumbai |
Updated: December 30, 2021 3:40:00 pm
Outstation passengers arriving in Mumbai being tested at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.

With the sudden spike in Covid-19 cases in the state, the Centre wrote to the Maharashtra government on Thursday to enhance the surveillance especially in the five districts of Mumbai, Mumbai Suburban, Pune, Thane and Nagpur which recorded high test positivity rates in the last few weeks.

In the last two weeks, active cases in Maharashtra increased by 117.4%. On December 15, the state had 6,467 active cases which flared up to 14,065 on December 29. As The Indian Express reported on December 30, the seven-day positivity rate in Maharashtra rose to 1.6% after two months.

Taking note of it, the Centre wrote to the Maharashtra health department to take necessary steps to contain the spread and avoid late detection of cases that might lead to a higher number of fatalities especially in Mumbai, Mumbai Suburban, Pune, Thane and Nagpur which have recorded a significant surge in cases in last two weeks. “This issue needs to be addressed proactively and immediately to ensure that neither the transmission spreads further nor do we reach a situation of increased mortality due to late detection of the cases,” the letter read.

With the anticipation of the spread of the new variant Omicron at the community level which has a high immunity escape potential, the state was advised to undertake enhanced surveillance of international travellers, continued monitoring of emerging hotspots, contact tracing of positive individuals and follow up for 14 days, sending all positive samples for genome sequencing, early identification of cases through adequate testing and review of health infrastructure preparedness.

Despite imposing section 144, it has been observed that the public is not following Covid appropriate behaviour which is also contributing to the further spread of the virus among the crowd. “As noticed 90% of the latest cases are from high rise buildings. Most of the patients are contracting the infection while attending family functions and ceremonies,” said Suresh Kakani, additional commissioner, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

“Continuous vigil should be maintained in view of the recent increase in domestic travel, due to various events such as marriages, festive celebrations, vacations having either recently concluded or underway,” the Centre advised.

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