70 districts registered over 150 pc increase in active COVID cases from Mar 1-15: Health ministry

·5-min read

New Delhi, Mar 17 (PTI) A total of 70 districts in 16 states have registered more than 150 per cent increase in active COVID-19 cases from March 1-15, the Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

Addressing a press briefing, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said most of these districts are in west and northern India.

'From March 1-15, about 70 districts in 16 states have registered over 150 per cent increase in active cases while 55 districts in 17 states have registered 100-150 per cent rise in cases,' he said.

The 70 districts, which registered over 150 per cent increase, include Punjab's Rupnagar, which recorded a 256 per cent rise in cases, Haryana's Yamunanagar (300 per cent rise), Karnal (245 per cent rise), Faridabad (225 per cent rise).

Panchkula (215 per cent rise), Himachal Pradesh's Sirmaur (367 per cent rise), Solan (267 per cent rise), Una (220 per cent rise), Maharashtra's Nanded (385 per cent rise), Nandurbar (224 per cent rise), Beed (219 per cent rise) and Maharashtra's Ratlam (500 per cent rise), Gwalior (360 per cent rise), Khargone (250.0 per cent rise) and Ujjain (214 per cent rise).

'In these states, we have asked to step up vaccinations and ensure all eligible beneficiaries get vaccinated,' Bhushan said.

Elaborating on the rise in cases in states, he said, 'If we look at Maharashtra, 60 per cent of all active cases are concentrated in Maharashtra and 45 per cent of new deaths are concentrated in Maharashtra.' 'On March 1, an average of 7,741 new cases were being reported. By March 15, the number increased to average 13,527. The positivity rate on March 1 used to be 11 per cent, which rose to 16 per cent by March 15,' he said.

Noting that the high positivity rate is a matter of concern, Bhushan said the tests numbers are not increasing at the same rate as the positivity rate is increasing.

'So, our advice to the states, especially Maharashtra, is that there is a need to increase the testing rate, especially the RT-PCR rate,' he said.

In Punjab on March 1, an average of 531 new cases were being reported. By March 15, the number increased to average 1,338. The positivity rate has doubled and RT-PCR share is 89 per cent, Bhushan said.

In Chandigarh on March 1, an average of 49 new cases were being reported. By March 15, the number increased to average 111. The positivity rate has increased from 3.5 per cent to 7.5 per cent and RT-PCR share is 40 per cent.

'We would want a distinct increasing trend of tests in which RT-PCR share is substantially higher than the current 40 per cent share,' he said.

In Chattisgarh on March 1, an average of 239 new cases were being reported. By March 15, the number increased to average 430. The positivity rate increased from 1.4 per cent to 2.4 per cent and RT-PCR share is 34 per cent.

So, again, we would want the RT-PCR tests to increase to up to 70 per cent and also an overall increase in testing.

In Gujarat on March 1, an average of 398 new cases were being reported. By March 15, the number increased to average 689. The positivity rate increased from 2.4 per cent to 4 per cent and RT-PCR share is 50 per cent.

In Karnataka on March 1, an average of 443 new cases were being reported. By March 15, the number increased to average 751. The positivity rate increased from 0.8 per cent to 1.3 per cent and RT-PCR share is 93 per cent.

In Madhya Pradesh on March 1, an average of 334 new cases were being reported. By March 15, the number increased to average 564. The positivity rate has increased from 3.1 per cent to 7.4 per cent and RT-PCR share is 65 per cent.

In Rajasthan on March 1, an average of 113 new cases were being reported. By March 15, the number increased to average 205. The positivity rate has increased from 2.1 per cent to 2.8 per cent and RT-PCR share is 97 per cent.

In Haryana on March 1, an average of 151 new cases were being reported. By March 15, the number increased to average 374. The positivity rate has increased from 1.2 per cent to 3.3 per cent and RT-PCR share is 93 per cent.

In Delhi on March 1, an average of 198 new cases were being reported. By March 15, the number increased to average 371. The positivity rate has increased from 0.4 per cent to 0.6 per cent and RT-PCR share is 64 per cent.

The overall tests can be increased in Delhi.

In Himachal Pradesh on March 1, an average of 37 new cases were being reported. By March 15, the number increased to average 80. The positivity rate has increased from 0.9 per cent to 2.3 per cent and RT-PCR share is 50 per cent.

In Andhra Pradesh on March 1, an average of 88 new cases were being reported. By March 15, the number increased to average 167. The positivity rate has increased from 0.5 per cent to 0.6 per cent and RT-PCR share is 86 per cent.

The ministry official also added that the lowest point of new COVID-19 cases was 9 February.

'Today, there is a nearly 43 per cent week-on-week increase in new COVID-19 cases and a nearly 37 per cent week on week increase in new deaths,' Bhushan said. PTI UZM PLB KJ