New Delhi: Ramping up testing and vaccination, healthcare infrastructure planning and effective clinical management are among the measures to be focused upon in nine states, including seven from Northeast (NE) India, reporting a surge in COVID-19 cases, the health ministry said on Wednesday.

In a letter to the states — Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Kerala, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Odisha, Tripura and Sikkim — the ministry has highlighted the areas of concern.

Stressing that there is a need to strengthen the collective efforts to curb the spread of the virus, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said ramping up testing and vaccination, healthcare infrastructure planning, following Covid-appropriate behaviour and effective clinical management are among the measures to be taken by these states.

In Arunachal Pradesh, he said it is a point of concern that the state has a weekly positivity rate of 16.2 per cent (Jun 28-July 4), which is continuously increasing for four weeks.

“Nineteen of the 25 districts are reporting a positivity rate of more than 10 per cent, which is a cause of concern. The state has shown almost a 12-per cent increase in the number of cases reported in the last four weeks. Twelve districts are showing an increase in the number of new cases over the past four weeks,” Bhushan said.

Changlang, East Siang, Lohit, Papum Pare, Tawang and Upper Subansiri districts reported more than 100 new cases each in the week ending July 4. Namsai district has shown an increase in the number of deaths (four deaths in the week ending July 4 compared to one in the week ending June 13).

For Assam, he said although the state has shown a decline in the number of new cases, four of its 33 districts have shown an increase in the figure for the last four weeks and 29 districts have reported over 100 new cases in the week ending July 4.

Jorhat (22 deaths from June 28-July 4 compared to 16 from June 7-13) and Sivasagar (15 deaths from June 28-July 4 compared to seven from June 7-13) districts showed a rise in the number of deaths in the last four weeks.

“Charaideo and Golaghat have reported a positivity rate of more than 10 per cent, which is emphasised to be analysed by the state,” Bhushan said.

In Manipur, he said two of the 16 districts (Bishnupur Kangpokpi) are showing a rise in the number of fresh cases for four weeks.

“Bishnupur has shown an increase in the number of deaths in the last four weeks (June 7-July 4). Imphal East and Imphal West had 17 and 28 deaths respectively in the week (June 28-July 4). Imphal East, Imphal West and Thoubal districts had more than 100 new cases in the week ending July 4 with a weekly positivity rate of more than 10 per cent,” the official said.

He said although Kerala has shown a decline in the number of new cases, two of its 14 districts have shown an increase in the figure for four weeks. All districts have reported more than 200 daily cases in the week ending July 4, he added.

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Kollam and Wayanad districts have shown an increase in the number of weekly deaths in the said period (June 7-July 4).

“Thrissur and Malappuram have reported more than 70 deaths in a week (June 28-July 4). Thiruvananthapuram has shown a declining trend in deaths, however, reported 111 (in the week ending July 4),” Bhushan said.

Kannur, Kasaragod, Kollam, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Palakkad and Thrissur had over 100 new cases in the previous week with a weekly positivity rate of more than 10 per cent, the ministry said.

It said Meghalaya is still reporting a weekly positivity rate of 14.05 per cent (June 28-July 4) and eight of its 11 districts are reporting a positivity rate of over 10 per cent.

“The districts of East Garo Hills, East Khasi Hills, North Garo Hills, Ri Bhoi, West Garo Hills, West Jaintia Hills and West Khasi Hills reported more than 100 new cases in the week ending July 4, with East Khasi Hills reporting 1,176 cases,” the ministry said.

Ri Bhoi showed a staggering 141-per cent rise in the number of fresh cases over the last four weeks and four districts — East Garo Hills (28 per cent), South Garo Hills (20 per cent), Ri Bhoi (33 per cent) and West Garo Hills (11 per cent) — had a positivity rate of over 10 per cent in the week ending July 4. East Garo and South Garo have shown an increase in the positivity rate compared to the previous week.

Six districts reported more than 100 cases each with a positivity rate of above 10 per cent last week, the ministry said.

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Nagaland has reported a positivity rate of more than 10 per cent in the weeks ending June 13, June 20 and June 27, with a decline seen in the week ending July 4 (6.44 per cent). Four of its 11 districts reporting a positivity rate of over 10 per cent.

Kohima reported more than 100 cases in the week ending July 4 with a positivity rate of over five per cent for the last four weeks. Peren has shown a staggering increase in the number of new cases (36 cases from June 28-July 4 compared to three from June 7-13).

Kiphire has shown a five-per cent increase in the positivity rate in the last four weeks and six districts have shown a rise in the positivity rate in the week ending July 4.

Three Odisha districts reported a weekly positivity rate of over 10 per cent from June 28 to July 4. Though the state positivity rate is consistently decreasing (5.36 per cent for the week ending July 4), Nuapada district has shown a significant increase in it in the last week.



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