‘Monitor new cluster’: Health Ministry writes to six states as Covid cases surge


Amid a significant rise in Covid cases in some regions, the Health Ministry on Thursday wrote to six states and advised them to monitor new clusters. The five states where cases have risen are Maharashtra, Gujarat, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala. 

In the letter, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that since the past few weeks, a rise in cases has been noted specifically in certain parts. He said a total of 1,082 cases were reported in the week ending March 8 which rose to 3,264 cases in the week ending March 15.

The secretary said that some states were reporting a high number of cases, indicating the possible localised spread of infection, and “there is a need to follow a risk assessment-based approach to prevent and contain the infection.”

Maharashtra has reported an increase in weekly cases from 355 in the week ending 8th March to 668 in the week ending 15th. Further, the state reported a positivity rate of 1.92 per cent, which is higher than India’s positivity rate of 0.61 per cent during the same period.

The Centre advised the state to examine the Covid situation at the micro level, district and sub-districts. It also said that the states should conduct adequate and proactive testing. “Monitor new and emerging clusters of new Covid-19 cases,” it said.      

The ministry also instructed states to monitor Influenza-like illness (ILI) & severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) cases in all health facilities or through dedicated fever clinics on a regular basis for detecting early warning signals of the spread of infection.