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Ensure people wear masks in crowded places: Govt flags Covid spike in Delhi, 3 states

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan specifically highlighted Uttar Pradesh as the state has reported 217 new cases in the week ending April 12 ——to 637 new cases in the last week ending April 19.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: April 19, 2022 11:35:48 pm
Coronavirus cases, Coronavirus cases todayAt a market in New Delhi amid the Covid-19 pandemic. (Express Photo: Abhinav Saha)

With an increase in Covid-19 cases being reported in a few states, the union health ministry on Tuesday directed three states and the union territory of Delhi — to enforce the adherence to Covid-19 behaviour with particular emphasis on wearing masks in crowded areas.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan Tuesday raised a red flag to three states Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Mizoram and the union territory of Delhi, which are a reporting increase in positivity rate directing them to maintain a strict watch and take pre-emptive action in any areas of concern to control any emerging spread of infection.

“India has witnessed a sustained and significant decline in the number of Covid-19 cases over the past 2 months, with the country reporting less than 1000 daily new cases for the past few days. The weekly positivity rate has remained below 1%. There are few states which are reporting a higher contribution to India’s daily new cases,” Bhushan wrote to the chief secretaries of the states.

Bhushan specifically highlighted Uttar Pradesh as the state has reported 217 new cases in the week ending April 12 to 637 new cases in the last week ending April 19. “The State has also seen an increase in positivity in the last week from 0.03% to 0.09%,” Bhushan wrote to Uttar Pradesh. “The state is advised to continue monitoring the spread of infection and undertake required steps for prompt and effective management of Covid-19” Bhushan wrote to the states.

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Similarly, Bhushan, communicated to Delhi that the national capital has reported 998 new cases in the week ending April 12 to 2,671 new cases in the last week. “The Union Territory has also seen an increase in positivity in the last week from 1.42% to 3.49%,” Bhushan wrote.

Bhushan red-flagged Haryana that the state has seen an increase in positivity in the last week from 1.22% to 2.86%. “…Haryana has reported an increase in weekly new cases from 521 new cases in the week ending April 12 to 1,299 new cases in the last week (ending April 19),” Bhushan wrote to Haryana.

Similarly, Bhushan wrote to Mizoram that the state has witnessed an increase in positivity in the last week from 16.11% to 16.68%. “…Mizoram has reported 539 new cases from 521 new cases in the week ending April 19,” Bhushan said. Meanwhile, Bhushan also wrote to Maharashtra about the marginal increase in the positivity rate. “…Maharashtra has reported 693 new cases in the last week. The state has also seen an increase in positivity in the last week from 0.39% to 0.40%,” Bhushan wrote.

The health ministry has told these states to follow the five-fold strategy of test-track- treat-vaccination and adherence to Covid-appropriate bahaviour. The Centre has also specifically directed the states to monitor Influenza-like illness (ILI) & severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) cases in all health facilities on a regular basis “for detecting early warning signals of the spread of infection”.

The health ministry has also urged the states to conduct genomic sequencing of samples of international passengers and from local clusters of cases. “It is essential that the state must maintain a strict watch and take pre-emptive action if required in any areas of concern to control any emerging spread of infection. Testing & surveillance still remain important to track the virus, its spread & evolution,” Bhushan wrote.

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