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Centre asks states with increasing case positivity to ramp up Covid testing

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New Delhi, Nov 24: Citing spike in COVID-19 cases in foreign countries, the Union health ministry has cited a decline in weekly Covid-19 testing rates and directed 11 states and two Union territories to increase tests to avoid missing infections.

Centre asks states with increasing case positivity to ramp up Covid testing

Union health and family welfare secretary Rajesh Bhushan, in a letter to states said "While there has been a significant decline in the new cases with 10,195, average daily cases reported in the week ending 22nd November, it has been observed that there has also been a decline in weekly testing rates."

"With a majority of countries seeing multiple surges in Covid cases in recent times and a few developed countries facing even fourth and fifth wave despite high levels of Covid vaccination, there is a need for continued vigil given the unpredictable and contagious nature of the disease...", he said.

"In the absence of sustained levels of sufficient testing, it is very difficult to determine the true level of infection spread in a geography. With a majority of countries seeing multiple surges in Covid cases in recent times and a few developed countries facing even fourth and fifth waves despite high levels of Covid vaccination, there is a need for continued vigil given the unpredictable and contagious nature of the disease.

"Hence, all efforts must be implemented to preserve the gains made so far and to prevent deterioration of COVID-19 scenario across the country," the secretary said. 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.

The states and UTs with low testing rate include Nagaland, Sikkim, Maharashtra, Kerala, Goa, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Punjab, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

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