Pandemic Is Far From Over, Warns Centre

Raising an alarm against increasing number of new cases in some states, the Centre highlighted specific indicators including a reproduction number of 1.2 — the number indicates how many persons a single Covid patient can infect — along with high positivity rates to warn that the pandemic is far from over. The increase is mainly driven by Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Lakshadweep, Tamil Nadu, Mizoram, Karnataka and Puducherry where the R-number is increasing.

India’s R-number is now on par with the US, Canada and Australia and officials said the worry is not just its high value but also its rising trend in these states.

Apart from these eight with R-value more than one, nine states have the value exactly at one. These include Delhi, Maharashtra, Bengal, Andhra, Haryana, Goa, Jharkhand, Nagaland and Meghalaya. “Whenever this number is at more than one, this means that the case trajectory is increasing and thus needs to be brought under control,” health ministry joint secretary Lav Agarwal said. Underlining the need to contain the infection in limited geography, the Centre pointed out that 44 districts have positivity above 10%, of which 10 are in Kerala and 30 in northeastern states, mainly Manipur (nine) and Mizoram (six).

The country’s overall weekly positivity rate has fallen significantly to less than 2% in the week ending August 2.

The increase in daily new cases is also limited to specific districts. During last four weeks, 18 districts were reporting rising trend in daily new cases, of this 10 were in Kerala, three in Maharashtra, two in Manipur and one each in Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Mizoram. Around 57 districts are now reporting more than 100 cases daily.

Kerala alone accounts for 40.6% of daily new cases, whereas Kerala and Maharashtra together have 60% of total active cases. Kerala is the only state with more than one lakh active cases, whereas eight states have active cases ranging between 10,000 to 1 lakh. Active caseload is less than 10,000 in 27 states.

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