Covid instances escalate, and the Health Secretary writes to six states: Increase tracking and testing

With a spike in Covid-19 instances reported with the seasonal flu, the Union Health Secretary has written to six states, which account for most of the new cases: Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Gujarat.

Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan advised states in a letter sent on Thursday to perform appropriate and proactive testing, monitor emerging clusters and influenza-like illnesses, and transmit samples of overseas travellers, sentinel sites, and clusters for genome sequencing. He has also requested that states promote precautionary doses and ensure that people practise Covid-appropriate behaviour.

The total number of Covid cases in the United States climbed from 2,082 in the week ending March 8 to 3,264 in the week ending March 15, with a positive rate of 0.61 per cent.

“In addition to flu, there has been an upsurge in other respiratory diseases, including Covid-19. “During the last two weeks, the number of Covid-19 cases has increased across the southern states and Gujarat,” said a senior government official.

In Gujarat, the number of cases increased dramatically from 13 in the week ending February 28 to 105 in the week ending March 8 and 279 in the week ending March 15, with a positive rate of 1.11 per cent. The majority of the new cases came from Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Mehsana, Bhavnagar, and Amreli.

According to the letter, the equivalent case count in Tamil Nadu for the three weeks was 96, 170, and 258, accordingly, with a positive rate of 1.99%. The majority of the cases were reported in Salem, Nilgiris, Tiruppur, and Tiruchirappalli.


When the flu spreads, additional testing is required.

Although certain metropolitan clusters are reporting a rise in Covid-19 cases, doctors have referred to a flu surge, which has resulted in greater Covid testing. At least 66 Covid cases with a recombinant XBB subvariant have been documented in Gujarat and Maharashtra. This does not indicate a surge, but the Centre’s announcement refocuses attention on a close watch.

In Kerala, the equivalent case count was 326, 434, and 579 for the three weeks, with a positive rate of 2.64%. Ernakulam, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Thrissur, and Palakkad are among the districts affected.

Telangana’s similar case count was 95, 132, and 267 for the three weeks. The state, on the other hand, reported a lower positive rate of 0.31%. The majority of the new cases were reported in Hyderabad.

In Karnataka, the equivalent case count was 363, 493, and 604 for the three weeks, with a positive rate of 2.77%. The majority of the new cases were reported in Shivamogga, Kalaburagi, Mysuru, and Uttara Kannada.

In Maharashtra, the equivalent case count was 197, 355 and 668 for the three weeks, with a positive rate of 1.92%. The majority of instances were reported in Pune, Mumbai, Thane, Mumbai Suburban, Nashik, Ahmednagar, and Nagpur. The state reported a daily caseload of 226 on Thursday, the largest since November 6, when 230 cases were reported. Pune now has the most active cases (278), followed by Mumbai (185) and Thane (171). (153).

A sub-variant of the recombinant variety XBB was detected from both Maharashtra and Gujarat, according to the letter. According to data from India’s Covid-19 genome sequencing project, the recombinant variant XBB, which united two Omicron sub-variants BA.2.10.1 and BA.2.75, was discovered in all samples sequenced from mid-February onwards, replacing previous sub-variants such BA.2.75, BA.2.10, and BA.2 (INSACOG).

According to the researchers, there are few sequences of the XBB variant uploaded to the global GISAID database, making it difficult to declare anything definitive about the variant.

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Hi, my name is Nisha and I'm an educational journalist based in India. I've always been passionate about the power of education to transform lives, and that's what led me to pursue a career in journalism focused on this area. I completed my Bachelor's degree in English from Hindu College in Delhi in 2013 and then went on to earn my Master's in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in 2017. During my studies, I also completed several short-term courses on Education in India, Sociology, and other related subjects to deepen my knowledge in this field. I'm particularly interested in improving access to quality education in rural areas, where students often face significant challenges. I've worked on a number of initiatives to address this issue, including advocating for better policies, resources, and practices that can make a difference. As an educational journalist, I'm passionate about using my platform to highlight important issues in the education space. I've covered a wide range of topics, including the impact of technology in the classroom, innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and the challenges facing students from marginalized communities. One of the things I love most about my work is the opportunity to constantly learn and grow. I'm an avid reader and believe that reading is key to expanding one's knowledge and perspective. I'm always seeking out new ideas and insights to help me better understand the world around me. In summary, as an educational journalist, I'm dedicated to using my skills and expertise to make a positive impact in the field of education. I'm committed to improving access to quality education for all students and to using my platform to raise awareness about important issues in this area.

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