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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Increase testing to bring Covid positivity to less than 10 %: State Health Secretary

On Wednesday the state reported 4,787 new infections – the highest so far in weeks.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
February 18, 2021 5:05:51 am
Dr D N Patil, state immunisation officer said they had instructed districts to vaccinate a maximum number of health care workers by February 20. (File)

In a stern warning to check the spike in Covid-19 cases, Maharashtra Principal Health Secretary Dr Pradeepkumar Vyas has directed collectors and commissioners to trace 20-30 contacts per Covid positive case. “We have directed them to increase testing to such an extent that the positivity rate drops below 10 per cent,” Dr Vyas told The Indian Express.

On Wednesday the state reported 4,787 new infections – the highest so far in weeks. Forty deaths were reported on Wednesday. The Mumbai circle reported 1,237 new infections followed by the Pune circle at 1,013 (where Pune Municipal Corporation new infections are at 443) and the Akola circle at 1,041 new cases. Amravati, which is part of the Akola circle, has reported 395 new infections in the municipal corporation limits and another 230 in rural parts. The Nagpur circle has also shown 662 new infections, of which 453 are from Nagpur municipal corporation limits.

Dr Vyas interacted with district health officials via video-conference on Wednesday and reviewed the rise in cases in some districts and the status of vaccination. “We have told collectors and commissioners to trace 20-30 contacts per Covid positive case and also increase testing to such an extent that the positivity rates drop below 10 percent and then 5 percent, wherever applicable. We have also directed them to follow earlier laid down SOPs,” Dr Vyas said.

 

Dr D N Patil, state immunisation officer said they had instructed districts to vaccinate a maximum number of health care workers by February 20.

“The timeline has been set by the Centre and we will have a mop-up round by February 25. So far, 54 percent of healthcare workers have been vaccinated.” Dr Patil said. Across the state till date, a total of 7.77 lakh beneficiaries have been administered the Covid-19 vaccine. Of this, 5.75 lakh are healthcare workers, while 1.8 lakh are frontline workers who have got the vaccine shot. The second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine has been administered to a total of 16,181 healthcare workers.

A district-wise review of vaccinations was taken and grievances were addressed. For instance, at Pune Municipal Corporation, setting up session sites for vaccination has been a nagging issue. Several hospitals are also yet to begin administering the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. “We have sorted the matter,” Dr Patil said. The issue of duplicate names in the list of beneficiaries will also be resolved in the next few days, Dr Sanjay Deshmukh, Deputy Director of Health, Pune circle (that includes Pune, Satara and Solapur), said.

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