New Delhi: The Union Health Ministry, on Tuesday warned that the COVID-19 situation in the country is going from ‘bad to worse’, and added that that the development is a ’cause of worry’.
Ministry, in a briefing, also listed 10 districts, namely Pune, Mumbai, Nagpur, Thane, Nashik, Aurangabad, Bengaluru Urban, Nanded, Delhi and Ahmednagar as the worst-hit by COVID-19 so far. The Health Ministry has asked the respective state governments to increase the number of tests in order to curb the spread of the virus.
“We spoke to representatives of these states. We told them why are they not increasing testing when cases are increasing. It’s essential to increase testing with a focus on RT-PCR tests. Rapid Antigen tests are used for screening tests in densely populated areas,” Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said during a routine press conference.
Bhushan said that while the weekly national average positivity rate is 5.65 per cent, Maharashtra has a weekly average of 23 per cent, followed by Punjab which has a weekly average of 8.82 per cent, Chhattisgarh 8 per cent, Madhya Pradesh 7.82 per cent, Tamil Nadu 2.50 per cent, Karnataka 2.45 per cent, Gujarat 2.2 per cent and Delhi 2.04 per cent.
No monitoring of home quarantines
Bhushan said that ‘isolation isn’t taking place in most states. “People are being told to isolate at home. But it’s to be monitored if they’re actually doing it. If they can’t, they must be quarantined institutionally. Delhi was able to bring numbers under control through it,” he further added.
“We are facing an increasingly severe and intensive situation in some districts but the whole country is potentially at risk. All efforts to contain the virus and save lives should be taken,” Dr VK Paul, Member-Health, Niti Aayog said.
Meanwhile, according to the ministry, 807 UK variants, 47 South African variants and 1 Brazilian variant have been found in India so far. Bhushan also noted that from April 1 all people above 45 yrs of age will be eligible for vaccination. “Advance appointment can be booked through cowin.gov.in. If you don’t want to do this, you can go to your nearest vaccination centre after 3 pm & go for on-site registration,” he added.