New Delhi, February 21 : The Centre has advised States to work on improving overall testing by focusing on an increasing proportion of RT-PCR tests, all negative Rapid Test results to be mandatorily followed by RT-PCR test and refocusing on strict and comprehensive surveillance among others amid the rising concerns over the upsurge in COVID-19 cases across the country.
The country has been witnessing a rise in the active coronavirus caseload over the past few days. More than 74 per cent of cases of the country are in Kerala and Maharashtra. Of late it is seen that there has been a spike in the daily cases in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh also. Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir too are witnessing a surge in daily new cases, the government said. According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare statement, the Centre has advised all these States to work on five major areas. These are:
(1) Improve the overall testing numbers by focusing on increasing the proportion of RT-PCR tests.
(2) All negative Rapid Antigen Test results to be mandatorily followed by RT-PCR test and no such negative persons are to be missed.
(3) Refocus on strict and comprehensive surveillance as well as stringent containment in selected districts.
(4) Regular monitoring of the mutant strains through testing followed by Genome Sequencing, as well as monitoring of the emerging cluster of cases.
(5) Focusing on clinical management in districts reporting higher deaths.
In the last four weeks in Kerala, the average weekly cases have fluctuated between a high of 42,000 to a low of 34,800. Similarly, the weekly positivity in Kerala has ranged from 13.9 per cent to 8.9 per cent. The district of Alappuzha is a cause of special concern where the weekly positivity rate has increased to 10.7 per cent and weekly cases have increased to 2,833.