Centre asks seven states to increase testing, vaccination amid rise in cases

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The Centre on Friday wrote to six states and the Union Territory of Delhi asking the authorities to ensure adequate Covid-19 testing, promote pandemic-appropriate behaviour and increase the pace of vaccination, PTI reported.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote to Delhi, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Telangana amid a rise in coronavirus cases in these states. Bhushan also warned of increased transmission of the disease during the upcoming festive season.

The health secretary pointed out that Delhi has been reporting a high number of daily cases over the past one month. On Thursday, the national capital reported its highest tally of daily cases in six months. The number of infections went above the 2,000-mark for the second consecutive day, while the positivity rate has remained above 10% for four straight days.

The weekly positivity rate for the city has gone up from 5.90% in the seven-day period ending in July 29 to 9.86% this week, according to PTI.

In his letter, Bhushan also said that Kerala reported 2,347 average cases a day in July, while Maharashtra logged 2,135 infections.

Genome sequencing of prescribed samples of international passengers and collecting samples from local clusters of new Covid-19 cases is equally important, the health secretary stated in the letter. The state have also been asked to closely monitor districts reporting higher cases, positivity rates and clusters to prevent further spread of the infection, according to PTI.

On Saturday, India reported 19,406 new cases of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours with a positivity rate of 4.96%, government data showed. The country’s active caseload stands at 1,34,793.

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