Covid situation turning from bad to worse, says Centre
New Delhi: Telangana has topped the list of States in administering Covid-19 vaccine doses in private facilities, recording 48.39 per cent coverage. Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, speaking to the media in New Delhi on Tuesday, said Delhi came second with 43.11 per cent vaccinations.
He said that the coronavirus situation is “turning from bad to worse” and added that the whole country is at risk. He said eight of the top 10 Covid-19 high-burden districts of the country are from Maharashtra and that Delhi, taken as one district, is also on the list.
Bhushan said the 10 districts with maximum active Covid-19 cases are Pune (59,475), Mumbai (46,248), Nagpur (45,322), Thane (35,264), Nashik (26,553), Aurangabad (21,282), Bengaluru Urban (16,259), Nanded (15,171), Delhi (8,032), Ahmednagar (7,952).
Though technically speaking, Delhi has many districts, but it has been taken as one district, he said. NITI Aayog member (Health) VK Paul said, “Covid-19 situation is turning from bad to worse. In last few weeks, especially in some States, it is a huge cause for worry.
No State, no part of the country or district should be complacent.” “We are facing an increasingly severe and intense situation, more so surely in some districts. But the whole country is potentially at risk and therefore all efforts to contain and save lives should be taken. Hospital and ICU preparations have to be readied. If the cases increase rapidly, the healthcare system would be overwhelmed,” Paul said.
About surge in case positivity rates, Bhushan said Maharashtra last week had an average positivity rate of 23 per cent, followed by Punjab 8.82 per cent, Chhattisgarh 8.24 per cent, Madhya Pradesh 7.82 per cent, Tamil Nadu 2.5 per cent, Karnataka 2.45 per cent, Gujarat 2.22 per cent, and Delhi 2.04 per cent. The average national positivity rate during last week was 5.65 per cent. All States and Union Territories are reporting a surge in cases and there is a need to significantly and exponentially increase the number of Covid-19 tests.
The proportion of RT-PCR tests need to be increased too, Bhushan said. “On Saturday, we held meeting with these states and also spoke to 47 districts. We requested them to increase the number of tests with a special focus on RT-PCR tests. Rapid antigen tests must be used for screening and in densely populated areas where cases are coming in clusters. The preferred test should be the RT-PCR ones,” he said.
On variants of the virus, the Health Secretary said 10 laboratories have done genome sequencing of 11064 samples since December of which the UK variant was detected in 807 samples, South African variant in 47 and Brazilian variant in one. A total of 6.11 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered till 10 am. About 81.74 lakh healthcare workers got the first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine and 51.88 lakh the second dose.
As many as 89.44 lakh frontline workers got the first dose and 37.11 lakh the second dose. From April 1, people above the age of 45 years would be eligible for vaccination. They can register themselves in the CoWIN platform, the Aarogya Setu app or go for on-site registrations which would start after 3 pm, the health ministry said.