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Coronavirus | Cabinet Secretary reviews upsurge of COVID-19 cases

People seen wearing mask as a precaution against coronavirus, in New Delhi. File   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

With Maharashtra, Punjab, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bengal, Telangana and Jammu and Kashmir reporting a high active COVID-19 caseload and an increasing trend in new cases in the last week, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Saturday reviewed the situation with the Chief Secretaries.

 

The States have been advised not to lower their guard, enforce pandemic-appropriate behaviour and deal firmly with violations. They are also required to follow effective surveillance and tracking strategies in respect of potential super spreading events.

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The Health Ministry said Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat have also shown a surge in new cases in the last 24 hours taking the active caseload to 1,59,590. Maharashtra continues to report the highest daily new cases at 8,333, followed by Kerala with 3,671 while Punjab reported 622 new cases, it said.

India reported 16,488 new cases in the last 24 hours.

“Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Karnataka and Haryana are displaying an upward trajectory in daily new cases. In the last two weeks, Kerala has shown the maximum decline in the number of active cases, from 63,847 on February 14 to 51,679, while Maharashtra has shown the highest rise, from 34,449 to 68,810,’’ said the Ministry.

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Six States/UTs account for 82.3% of the 113 deaths reported in the last 24 hours. Maharashtra saw the highest number of casualties (48). Punjab reported 15 daily deaths and Kerala 14 while 17 States/UTs have not reported any deaths.

A presentation was made at the meeting chaired by Mr. Gauba with a focus on districts reporting increasing numbers of cases and trend in positivity. This was followed by a comprehensive review with all the States/UTs. The Chief Secretaries briefed about the situation and preparedness to tackle the recent spike, said the Ministry.

Stressing on effective testing, comprehensive tracking, prompt isolation of positive cases and quick quarantine of close contacts, the States have also been told to increase RT-PCR tests in districts having high antigen testing, refocus on surveillance and stringent containment in selected districts reporting reduced tests/high positivity and increased cases and monitor mutant strain and clustering of cases for early hotspot identification and control.

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The Cabinet Secretary said States must maintain a continued rigorous vigil in terms of containing the spread and not squander away the gains of the collective hard work of the last year.

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Printable version | Apr 19, 2021 7:34:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-centre-states-discuss-fresh-spurt-in-cases-focus-on-ensuring-effective-surveillance/article33949037.ece

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