COVID-19 Spike: Worried Centre Advises 2 States To Review Situation, Take Steps

New Delhi: The Central government, worried about the spike in fresh coronavirus cases in Assam and West Bengal, has advised the two states to strictly enforce COVID-appropriate norms.

Union Health ministry additional secretary Arti Ahuja has written to the chief secretaries of both states highlighting the increase in weekly new COVID-19 cases (October 20-26), and early signs of spike in positivity rate compared to the previous four weeks.

Urging the state governments to review these parameters, Ahuja has urged them to take action accordingly, reported PTI.

In Assam, there has been a 41% rise in weekly new cases in the past week and early signs of increase in positivity rate compared to previous four weeks from 1.89% (September 28-October 4) to 2.22% (October 19-25).

“Assam has also witnessed decline in tests conducted… Because of the rising positivity, the state needs to conduct enhanced testing while maintaining the required RT-PCR share as it will aid in early identification of infection in the state,” Ahuja told PTI, identifying Barpeta and Kamrup Metro as districts of concern.

In West Bengal, the districts of concern are Kolkata and Howrah.

There has been approximately 40% rise in weekly new cases, while positivity rate has jumped from 1.93% to 2.39%.

West Bengal, too, has seen a decline in testing.

Besides suggesting possible measures to check the surge in cases, Ahuja issued an advisory for super spreader events.

Both states were also encouraged to aim for 100 per cent first dose vaccine coverage of the 18-plus population, along with increasing pace of the second dose.

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