Spike in COVID-19 cases: Centre asks states to ramp up testing with focus on RT-PCR

Government has asked states with spikes in COVID cases to ramp up testing with focus on RT-PCR, prompt isolation, and contact tracing. Briefing media in New Delhi this afternoon, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said 10 districts across the country have the most number of active cases. These districts are Pune, Mumbai, Nagpur, Thane, Nashik, Aurangabad, Bengaluru Urban, Nanded, Delhi and Ahmednagar.

The weekly national average positivity rate is 5.65 percent. Maharashtra has a weekly average of 23 percent, followed by Punjab and Chhattisgarh. The Health Ministry spoke to representatives of states showing a spike in COVID cases and asked them to increase testing with focus on RT-PCR tests. Rapid Antigen tests are to be used for screening tests in densely populated areas.

The Health Secretary said 807 UK variants, 47 South African variants and 1 Brazilian variant have been found in India. He added that Covaxin, and Covishield are effective against the UK and Brazilian variants. Work against the South African variant is underway.

All people above 45 years of age will be eligible for vaccination from 1st of April. Advance appointments can be booked through COWIN website. People can also go to their nearest vaccination centre after 3 PM for on-site registration with any identity document.


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