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Updated on: Sunday, October 31, 2021, 12:34 AM IST

Rising Covid cases in Bengal, Assam: Centre urges for appropriate measures

People being tested for Covid in West Bengal. | (ANI Photo)

People being tested for Covid in West Bengal. | (ANI Photo)

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New Delhi

In view of rising coronavirus cases, weekly positivity rates and decreasing testing figures in Assam and West Bengal, the Centre has asked the state governments to undertake a review of these parameters while stressing on strict enforcement of Covid-appropriate behaviour.

In a letter to chief secretaries of Assam and West Bengal on October 26, Additional Secretary in the Union Health Ministry, Arti Ahuja, highlighted the increase in weekly new Covid cases since the past week (October 20-26) and early signs of rise in positivity since the last four weeks till October 25.

On October 22, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan had also written to West Bengal expressing concern over the rise in Covid cases in Kolkata, following Durga Puja celebrations earlier this month.

Ahuja, in her letter to Assam, pointed out that there has been 41 per cent increase in weekly new cases since the past week (October 20-26) and that there have been early signs of rise in positivity since last four weeks from 1.89 per cent in the week of September 28-October 4 to 2.22 per cent in the week of October 19-25.

"The state has also witnessed decline in tests conducted from 1,64,071 in the week of September 28-October 4 to 1,27,048 in the week of October 19-25. Because of the rising positivity, the state needs to conduct enhanced testing while maintaining the required RT-PCR share, as it will aid in early identification of infection in the state," he said.

Two districts of Assam — Barpeta and Kamrup Metro — the additional secretary said have been identified as districts of concern due to high quantum af Covid cases and weekly positivity.

Similarly, in West Bengal, she said two districts -- Kolkata and Howrah -- have been identified as districts of concern due to high quantum of cases and positivity.

Ahuja pointed out that the state has shown approximately 41 per cent rise in weekly new cases since the past week, 6,040 cases in the week of October 20-26 compared to 4,277 cases in the week of October 13-19 and that there have been early signs of increase in positivity since the past four weeks from 1.93 per cent in the week of September 28- October 4 to 2.39 per cent during October 19-25.

West Bengal has also witnessed decline in the tests conducted from 2,62,319 during September 28-October 4 to 2,61,515 in the week of October 19-25.

It has been observed that Covid cases surge exponentially where basic public health strategy (testing, tracking, treatment, Covid-appropriate behaviour and vaccination) is not followed rigorously, she said in the letter.

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Published on: Sunday, October 31, 2021, 12:34 AM IST
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