NEW DELHI: :In the wake of sudden rise in Covid-19 cases in some states, the Centre has suggested increase in RT-PCR tests, stringent monitoring of mutant strains, while also advising states to refocus on strict surveillance and adopt stringent containment measures in districts that are reporting high number of positive cases. In a letter to states, the health ministry also stressed that all negative rapid antigen test results should be mandatorily followed by RT-PCR test.
India has been witnessing a rise in active caseload over the past few days, with the total pegged at over 1.4 lakh on Saturday. However, over 74% of the active cases are concentrated in two states — Kerala and Maharashtra. While Maharashtra and Kerala also continue to account for the highest share of daily new cases with 77% reported from the two states on Saturday, a rise in daily cases has been seen in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and J&K in recent days.
The Centre has advised these states to work on five major areas — improve the overall testing numbers by focusing on increasing the proportion of RT-PCR tests, all negative rapid antigen test results to be mandatorily followed by RT-PCR test and no such negative people to be missed, and refocus on strict and comprehensive surveillance as well as stringent containment in selected districts.
Besides, states have been asked to regularly monitor mutant strains through testing followed by genome sequencing, as well as monitor emerging cluster of cases. The Centre has also asked states to focus on clinical management in districts reporting higherdeaths. Five states and UTs have a weekly positivity rate more than the national average of 1.8% — Maharashtra, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Goa and Chandigarh.
Meanwhile, India administered over 1.1 crore doses of vaccines till Sunday evening.