Centre cautions against declining Covid testing

120 medical students of 2 States test Covid positive
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120 medical students of 2 States test Covid positive

Highlights

Citing multiple surges in coronavirus cases in several countries, the Union Health Ministry has written to 13 States and Union Territories, including West Bengal, Kerala, Maharashtra and Punjab, expressing concern over declining weekly testing rates and spiking positivity rates in some districts.

New Delhi: Citing multiple surges in coronavirus cases in several countries, the Union Health Ministry has written to 13 States and Union Territories, including West Bengal, Kerala, Maharashtra and Punjab, expressing concern over declining weekly testing rates and spiking positivity rates in some districts.

In a letter to Nagaland, Sikkim, Maharashtra, Kerala, Goa, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Ladakh, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan stressed on maintaining high testing rates given the recent increase in travelling due to events like marriages, festivals and vacations that have recently concluded or are underway.

"A decrease in testing would undermine the actual infection spread within the community," Bhushan said in the letter. Also, with the onset of winter and increased pollution in some states, prevalence of ILI/SARI and respiratory distress symptoms should be closely monitored, with tests being conducted regularly for timely monitoring and clustering of cases for early hotspot identification, the official underlined. All the 13 states and UTs have been given the same advice though each letter mentions state-specific testing details of particular districts and positivity rates.

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