Amid growing concerns over rising coronavirus cases in India, the Union Health Ministry on Tuesday stated that the numbers of coronavirus deaths in Punjab and Chhattisgarh were of extreme concern.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that death numbers being reported in Punjab and Chhattisgarh were the cause of extreme concern. “Of all the active cases in the country, 58 percent of active cases are in Maharashtra,” he said, adding that 34 percent of the total deaths have been reported in Maharashtra.
He said that of the top 10 districts having most of the active COVID-19 cases, 7 districts were from Maharashtra, one from Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, and Delhi each.
The Central government has suggested state governments increase the percentage of RT-PCR tests, which has been reducing in Maharashtra in the last few weeks.
Only 60 percent of total tests were done through the RT-PCR method in Maharashtra last week, Bhushan said, adding that the states have been suggested to take it to 70 percent or above.
The Centre further said that Chhattisgarh was a cause of concern. “Despite being a small state, it reports 6 percent of total COVID cases and 3 percent of total deaths in the country. The condition of Chhattisgarh has deteriorated in the second wave of infections,” he said.
Around 4.5 percent of deaths due to COVID were being reported in Punjab, he said. Compared to Punjab, active cases and death toll are very low in Delhi and Haryana, he added.
Furthermore, he said that the share of RT-PCR tests in average daily tests has increased to 76 percent in Punjab.
The Centre has deployed 15 high-level multidisciplinary public health teams in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Punjab to help contain coronavirus. The teams will be going to 30 districts of Maharashtra, 11 districts of Chhattisgarh, and 9 districts of Punjab.
Meanwhile, Dr VK Paul, Member-Health, Niti Aayog, said that the impact of the pandemic has increased in the country. “Warnings were given that the situation should not be taken for granted. The situation of the pandemic has worsened and the speed of increasing cases is higher than last time,” he said.
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