Centre raises concerns over Tamil Nadu Covid surge; asks to ramp up pace of vaccination

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Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan has written to the Tamil Nadu health secretary stating that the state has been registering a high average daily new Covid-19 cases since past one month.

In a letter, Rajesh Bhushan said that the state has been reporting an average of 2,044 new cases. The state reported 1,211 new cases on August 5 contributing to 7.7% of lndia’s weekly new cases and a positivity of 4.97% in the week ending August 5.

“The challenges which need to be addressed have been highlighted to the State multiple times. But the consistent increase as indicated above brings to fore the need for heightened action at the State level to contain the spread of cases,” read the letter.

In his letter, the Union health secretary said analysis of districts has highlighted various critical areas of concern, as follows:

1. 26 districts have reported a decline in the number of total tests conducted in week ending August 4, 2022 as compared to week ending July 28, 2022.

2. 4 districts have reported an increase in cases for the same time period.

3. Dindigul has reported more than 10% weekly positivity in the week ending August 4, 2022.

The Union health secretary asked the state’s health secretary to ensure adequate testing is undertaken in all districts as in upcoming months, due to festivals, mass gatherings are expected.

“It is critical for the state to ensure adequate testing is undertaken in all the districts of the state while maintaining the recommended share of RT-PCR and Antigen tests. The state must also closely monitor districts reporting higher cases, positivity rates and clusters to prevent further spread of infection and effective case management,” read the letter.

“In view of some changes in symptoms and clinical manifestation of the disease, it is crucial to monitor and report district wise Influenza-like illness (ILI) & SARI cases in all health facilities as per the guidelines, on a regular basis for detecting early warning signals of the spread of infection. This will enable us to take pre-emptive action if required, in any areas of concern,” the letter added.

The Union health secretary, in the letter, said that the state should aim to increase the pace of vaccination for all eligible population and accelerate the administration of free the precaution doses for 18+ eligible population at all government Covid Vaccination Venters (CVCs) under the ‘COVID Vaccination Amrit Mahotsav’ till September 30, 2022.

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