MOHAMMAD RAFI/THE AWAM NEWS
New Delhi, Apr, 06: The Union health ministry on Tuesday asked states badly hit by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) to amp up their RT-PCR testing to at least 70% of the total samples tested. The suggestion comes a day after India recorded more than a lakh cases in a day – highest since the start of the pandemic.
The health officials also confirmed that the second wave in India is worse than the first as the Covid-19 cases are increasing at a higher rate.
“The impact of the pandemic has increased in the country. Warnings were given that the situation should not be taken for granted,” Dr VK Paul, NITI Aayog member said at a press conference.
Dr Paul confirmed that the situation has worsened and the speed of increasing Covid-19 cases is higher than last time.
“We have suggested state governments increase the percentage of RT-PCR tests, which is reducing in Maharashtra in the last few weeks. Only 60% of total tests were done through RT-PCR method in Maharashtra last week. We suggest states take it to 70% or above,” Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said in a weekly press briefing.
According to the officials, the deteriorating situation in Chhattisgarh has sent the alarm bells ringing as the state has become an area of “concern”.
“Chhattisgarh is a cause of concern for us. Despite being a small state, it reports 6% of total Covid-19 cases and 3% of total deaths in the country. The condition of Chhattisgarh has deteriorated in the second wave of infections,” Bhushan said in the press briefing.
“Death numbers being reported in Punjab and Chhattisgarh are cause of extreme concern,” he added.
Maharashtra – India’s worst affected state – accounts for 58% of the active cases and 34% of the total deaths, officials said. They added that around 4.5% of deaths due to the virus are being reported in Punjab.
“Compared to Punjab, active cases and death toll are very low in Delhi and Haryana. It is satisfactory that the share of RT-PCR tests in average daily tests has increased to 76% in Punjab,” Bhushan said.
Union health minister Harsh Vardhan is scheduled to hold a meeting with health ministers of 11 states and union territories (UTs) to take stock of the situation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also hold a meeting with chief ministers on Thursday to review the Covid-19 situation in the country.-(The Awam News)