Covid resurgence: Andhra among 9 states witnessing spike in daily cases; centre presses alarm button

The Centre has asked all the nine states to increase testing, and surveillance and speed up COVID vaccination

By Sri Lakshmi Muttevi  Published on  21 July 2022 3:40 AM GMT
Covid resurgence: Andhra among 9 states witnessing spike in daily cases; centre presses alarm button

Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh is among nine states that are witnessing a spike in new COVID cases. Kerala, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram, and Arunachal Pradesh are other states that have recorded a surge in the last few days.

The average tests per million population are below the national average in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal, Maharashtra, and Himachal Pradesh, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said. The Centre has asked all the nine states to increase testing, and surveillance and speed up COVID vaccination. "We need to be mindful that COVID has not gone. Looking at the global scenario, we need to be on high alert. There is poor surveillance, poor testing and below average vaccination in many states undergoing the present surge", Dr. Vinod Paul, Member (Health) of NITI Aayog said.

He urged states to improve the testing in areas with high positivity, increase surveillance as per the revised surveillance strategy, and speed up COVID-19 vaccination.

Why is AP among 9 states?

Speaking to News Meter, Commissioner of Medical, Health & Family Welfare J Nivas said: "The state has a positivity rate of around 12%, We were asked to increase tests, especially those with a severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) and ILI (Influenza-like Illness). These samples will be sent for genome sequencing in INSACOG laboratories, a forum set up under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare."

Data revealed that 23,27,662 people have been infected with COVID so far. Active cases stand at 2,714. The death toll stands at 14,733. The positivity rate has increased gradually from 0.4% on 1 June to 12&% in July. The state is seeing at least 400 cases every day. Districts like Krishna, Visakhapatnam, Guntur, and Chittoor are showing a high positivity rate. "Majority of them now are going for home isolation, which has high chances for the spread of the virus. The cases are reported high in number from June last week", said an official.

Vaccination

Till now, 9,83,42,325 people have been fully vaccinated. Around 59 lakh health care workers, frontline workers, and the general public above 60 years have been administered booster doses. It is the highest compared to other states. Around 3,41 lakh are eligible to get their booster dose by September. With the booster dose made free for everyone, the state may reach a 10 crore milestone in another two weeks.

Suggestions from Union Health Secretary

-All districts reporting a higher positivity rate need to undertake adequate testing with a higher proportion of RTPCR tests. Any laxity will complicate the situation.

-Effective and strictly monitoring home isolation cases

-Conduct surveillance as per the revised surveillance strategy issued on 9 June 2022.

-To undertake test indicated proportion of international arrivals, with genome sequencing of all positives

-States also to send positive samples from large clusters/outbreaks in the community and unusual events for Whole Genome Sequencing.

-Awareness to be created for those opting for home-kits through RAT, for timely identification of those cases that need clinical management.

-Accelerate administration of ongoing free Covid-19 vaccination for 1st, 2nd, and precaution dose. Intensify free booster dose for 18+ population.

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