Updated: July 13, 2021 7:11:15 am
The Prime Minister will have a virtual meeting on Tuesday with the Chief Ministers of the eight Northeastern states to discuss the Covid-19 situation in the region.
More than three out of every five districts that reported a test positivity rate of more than 10 per cent over the past week are in the Northeast.
Data tracked by the Union Health Ministry show that of the 58 districts that reported a positivity rate higher than 10 per cent between July 5 and July 11, as many as 37 were from the Northeast.
While absolute numbers in the Northeast are small compared to the larger Indian states, the overall weekly positivity in India was only 2.21 per cent as of Sunday.
On July 6, the Health Ministry sent individual letters to the Northeastern states, flagging its concerns. During a video conference thereafter, officials including Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan and Union Home Secretary A K Bhalla asked the states to ramp up testing with a high proportion of RT-PCR tests, plan effective containment measures, and augment hospital bed capacity if occupancy crosses 40 per cent.
Official data show a disproportionately large share of Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT), which are significantly less accurate than the gold-standard RT-PCR tests, and tend to produce a large number of false negatives.
This suggests that the situation in the region could be worse than what the tests indicate, and that a much larger section of the population may have contracted the virus.
* MANIPUR has reported a weekly positivity rate of 14.69 per cent. Across the state’s 16 districts, 19 per cent of tests on average were RT-PCR tests.
Eight districts have reported positivity higher than 10 per cent: Tengnoupal (57.39 per cent ), Bishnupur (26.02 per cent), Kakching (21.48 per cent), Thoubal (18.99 per cent), Imphal West (18.73 per cent), Imphal East (16.82 per cent), Churachandpur (14.07 per cent), and Kangpokpi (11.92 per cent).
The Centre has asked Manipur to critically analyse rising deaths in the districts of Bishnupur, Imphal East and Imphal West.
* MEGHALAYA: Weekly positivity 14.77 per cent; 17 per cent RT-PCR tests on average in the state’s 11 districts.
Seven districts have more than 10 per cent positivity: North Garo Hills (31.93 per cent), Ri Bhoi (29.53 per cent), East Khasi Hills (20.57 per cent), South Garo Hills (16.31 per cent), West Jaintia Hills (14.96 per cent), East Jaintia Hills (10.96 per cent), West Khasi Hills (10.53 per cent).
On July 6, the Centre had flagged to the state that East Khasi Hills had recored 26 deaths in the June 28-July 4 period, a 53 per cent increase in weekly deaths compared to the previous week.
* ARUNACHAL PRADESH: Weekly positivity 6.74 per cent; only 3 per cent RT-PCR tests on average across the state.
Five districts have more than 10 per cent positivity: Kurung Kumey (21.71 per cent), Kamle (15.79 per cent), East Siang (13.06 per cent), Dibang Valley (12 per cent), and Anjaw (10.30 per cent).
* SIKKIM: Weekly positivity 24.98 per cent; a high 73 per cent of tests were RT-PCR.
All four districts of the state have more than 10 per cent positivity: West District (47.10 per cent), East District (21.13 per cent), South District (18.04 per cent), North District (12.64 per cent). The Centre has flagged the mortality reported in East District.
* ASSAM: Weekly positivity 4.41 per cent; 12 per cent tests were RT-PCR tests.
On July 6, the Centre had flagged to the state the increase in the number of deaths in the previous four weeks in Jorhat and Sivasagar.
* TRIPURA: Weekly positivity 9.39 per cent; 28 per cent tests were RT-PCR tests.
Three districts have more than 10 per cent positivity: Khowai (22.54 per cent), Unakoti (15.14 per cent), Dhalai (11.54 per cent).
The Centre has voiced concern over the increase in the number of deaths in West Tripura.
* MIZORAM: Weekly positivity of 8.15 per cent; 17 per cent tests were RT-PCR.
Three districts have more than 10 per cent positivity: Lawngtlai (28.9 per cent), Lunglei (15.21 per cent), Aizawl (11.27 per cent).
* NAGALAND: Weekly positivity 7.14 per cent; 37 per cent tests were RT-PCR.
Three districts have more than 10 per cent positivity: Longleng (22.5 per cent), Kohima (18.43 per cent), Tuensang (14.71 per cent).
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