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Covid spike: Cautious Centre asks 14 risk states to step up vigil


NEW DELHI:  Delhi is among 14 states that are reporting a spike in Covid-19 cases on a weekly basis. The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday advised these states to continue to be alert and step up their vigil.
Along with a spike in the 19 cases, these states have shown a high positivity rate, reduced testing and below-average vaccination, the Ministry said.

Since June 1, many states, which have now expanded to 14, have been reporting a spike in Covid cases. The other states that were part of the virtual meet included Assam, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Delhi, Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka and Telangana.

In a virtual review meeting, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan advised them to monitor the epidemiological profile of admitted Covid-19 patients strictly and report the clinical manifestation to the ministry, rather than random or anecdotal reporting, a statement said.

“This will help to identify at an early stage any out-of-the-ordinary or different clinical presentation of the patients,” the statement added. Noting that the uptake in second and precaution doses in many states reporting the present surge was low, they were advised to rapidly accelerate the vaccination coverage, especially for the elderly population, and second dose among the 12-17 age group.

The ministry said there was no shortage of Covid-19 vaccines and that states should ensure that the vaccines that expire first are administered first to prevent any wastage. In the meeting, the low level of Covid-19 testing was highlighted as also the drop in RTPCR share. Instead of a thin and broad testing spectrum, states were told to focus on strategic testing. It means keeping an audit of patients coming to fever clinics, patients with influenza-like illness (ILI) and those with severe acute respiratory infections (SARI).