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Rise in daily Covid cases in 22 districts, can’t say 2nd wave over: Govt

Addressing a press conference, Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Health, said, “There are 22 districts in the country where an increasing trend in cases has been noted… An increase has been seen during the last four weeks... This increase is a cause for concern on which we continue to hold discussions with states.”

Written by Harikishan Sharma | New Delhi |
Updated: July 28, 2021 7:27:12 am
At Siddhivinayak, Mumbai, shut due to Covid, Tuesday. (PTI)

THE UNION Health Ministry Tuesday reported a rise in daily new Covid cases in 22 districts across seven states, calling it a “cause for concern”. Seven of these districts are in Kerala, and two in Maharashtra, with the rest spread across the Northeast.

Addressing a press conference, Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Health, said, “There are 22 districts in the country where an increasing trend in cases has been noted… An increase has been seen during the last four weeks… This increase is a cause for concern on which we continue to hold discussions with states.”

While Alappuzha, Kottayam, Malappuram, Thrissur, Wayanad, Ernakulum and Pathanamthitta in Kerala are seeing a rise in daily cases, in Manipur, Chandel, Churachandpur, Imphal East, Noney and Thoubal are showing a similar increase, apart from West Garo Hills, South-West Khasi Hills and South-West Garo Hills in Meghalaya, Papum Pare, Lohit and West Siang in Arunachal, Nalbari in Assam, and West Tripura in Tripura. The two districts in Maharashtra causing concern to officials are Solapur and Beed.

Agarwal said, “In Malappuram in Kerala, a weekly figure of 1,428 cases was reported during the period between June 28 and July 4, which has gone up to 2,270 in the last week — an increase of around 59%… Similarly, in Kottayam, the number of weekly cases has increased by 63% to 849 in the last week from 519 weekly cases a month ago… We are in constant discussion with states on how we should focus on containment efforts, early detection, so that the number of cases can be reduced.”

The Health Secretary added that even as the number of active cases was down to below 4 lakh from 37 lakh at the peak, the cases are now spread across a limited geography — making containment efforts, restrictions and follow-up on Covid appropriate behaviour necessary.

July 27 saw overall 29,689 new cases, compared to a high of 4,14,188 on May 7. The average daily new cases were down to 38,090 in the week ending July 27, from 3,87,029 in the week ending May 11, Agarwal said.

Further, the official said, the number of districts with above 100 cases was down to 62 in the week ending July 25. This stood at 379 in the week ending May 25.

In terms of positivity rate, Agarwal said 54 districts were reporting more than 10% positivity for the week ending July 26. This figure stood at 46 in the week ending July 20 — showing that the virus remains active in areas.

Agarwal added that the Health Ministry and Home Ministry had issued clear guidelines, specifying the restrictions to be placed wherever the case positivity was high.

NITI Aayog member Dr VK Paul, who was also present at the press conference, said it would be wrong to call the second wave over. “We may be tired, but the virus is not tired… Things cannot be taken for granted. Virus behaviour cannot be taken for granted,” he said.

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