The Centre has warned states against laxity in handling surging COVID cases in the wake of new virus strains being detected in different parts of the country. As a step to mitigate the problem, the Union health ministry has sent three-member multi-disciplinary teams to 10 states and Union Territories that have seen a sudden rise in positive cases: Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
The main task of each team is to work closely with the state health machinery and find out the cause of the sudden rise. Secondly, the teams will suggest ways to break the chain of transmission with strict contact-tracing of all positive cases. Meanwhile, all states and Union Territories have been asked to closely monitor the situation and get updated information from the concerned districts.
The health ministry has asked the governments of Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir to increase RT-PCR testing with special focus on the worst affected districts.
Patients who show symptoms but have turned negative in rapid antigen tests (RAT) will be asked to take the RT-PCR test.
Currently, Maharashtra and Kerala together have about 3/4th of the country’s current active cases. Maharashtra (6,218 cases), Kerala (4,034) and Tamil Nadu (442) are the top three contributors. The country recorded 13,743 new cases in the last 24 hours with 14,037 recoveries during the same time.
A total of 104 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours. Maharashtra reported the maximum deaths (51) while Kerala reported 14 deaths and Punjab 10.