Northeast COVID situation worrying, positivity rate 10% in 41 districts

Manipur has the highest active case count (5,974 cases) followed by Meghalaya and Tripura

Experts say an average of 18 lakh daily tests has to be maintained by states. File Photo

Forty-one districts in the Northeast are among 73 district in the country that reported over 10 per cent positivity rate in the last one week (June 29-July 5), the health ministry said on Wednesday (July 7).

Also read: Numbers rising: North East could be the next COVID hotspot

Manipur with 5,974 cases has the highest active case count followed by Meghalaya (4,354), Tripura (3,962), Mizoram (3,730), Sikkim (1,869) and Nagaland (1192), the ministry said.

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Dr Balram Bhragava, a member of the country’s COVID task force who is also director general of Indian Council of Medical Research, said the Northeast will have to increase testing, keep a close watch on the test positivity rate at the district-level and set up micro-containment zones.

Also read: North-East struggles to recover from COVID as cases, TPR spike

He said that while 595 districts have been reporting less than 5 per cent positivity, an average of 18 lakh daily tests has to be maintained by states as some of them are still in the midst of the second wave.

Bhargava reiterated that districts reporting more than 10 per cent positivity need to re-impose strict containment measures. “If the test positivity is less than 5 per cent, it is a good sign, and the administration can ease the restrictions. But if the test positivity rate goes beyond 10 per cent, then we need to reinstate restrictive measures. Because the virus is still lurking around and we are fighting the virus,” he said.

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