New Delhi: The Central government on Saturday wrote to six high Covid-19 cases reporting states to take necessary steps to control the spread of the infection, and also reduce fatalities, reported news agencies quoting officials. The states — Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Odisha and Mizoram along with one Union Territory, Jammu & Kashmir — have been told to take the required steps according to the strategy of Test-Track-Treat-Vaccinate-Covid Appropriate Behaviour to keep the situation under control.Also Read - COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Drive is Faltering in the US

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, in separate letters addressed to the six states — has said that in the context of the new Variant of Concern — Omicron, all states have been advised to: Also Read - IMF Projects Global Economy To Grow At 4.4%, Cuts India's Economy Growth Forecast To 9% in FY 22

  • undertake enhanced surveillance of international travellers,
  • continued monitoring of emerging hotspots,
  • prompt and comprehensive contact tracing of positive individuals and follow up for 14 days,
  • sending all positive samples for genome sequencing quickly to INSACOG Labs,
  • early identification of cases through adequate testing,
  • review of health infrastructure preparedness,
  • and most importantly to focus on IEC, and community sensitization.

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will continue to provide requisite support to states/UTs in the ongoing and collective efforts against COVID-19, he added. India on Saturday confirmed its third Omicron case – a 72-year-old Gujarat man returning from Zimbabwe, triggering alarms across the nation. Also Read - Haryana Schools Likely To Be Reopened Soon For These Classes | Check Details Here

Kerala

In the letter to the Kerala government, the Health Ministry has said that 13 out of 14 districts in the state are reporting high quantum of weekly new cases in the southern state. Four districts — Thiruvananthapuram (11.61 per cent), Wayanad (11.25 per cent), Kozhikode (11 per cent) and Kottayam (10.81 per cent) — are showing high weekly positivity of more than 10 per cent. Other nine districts are reporting weekly positivity between 5-10 per cent.

Karnataka

In the letter to the Karnataka, the ministry has expressed concern that the state has reported a slight increase in weekly new cases to 2,272 from 1,664 cases along with an increase in weekly new deaths from 22 to 29 over the same period. “Increase in weekly new deaths has been noted in Bengaluru urban, from 8 new deaths reported in the week ending November 25 to 14 deaths in the week ending December 2,” the ministry noted.

Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu has reported 23,764 new cases during the same period. Vellore, Thiruvallur and Chennai showed an increase in weekly new cases in the past week.

Odisha

In similar letter to Odisha, the Centre has expressed concern over declining trends of the weekly test conducted. The state exhibited a decline of 3.1 per cent in weekly tests conducted from 4,01,164 total tests in week ending 26th Nov to 3,88,788 total tests in week ending December 3,” said the ministry.

Mizoram

“Eight out of 11 districts are showcasing high weekly positivity of more than 10 per cent in Mizoram,” said ministry in the letter to the state government.

Jammu and Kashmir

As for Jammu and Kashmir, Bhushan said, it has reported 4,806 new cases in the month ending December 3, with a few districts such as Kathua, Jammu, Ganderbal and Baramulla showing an increase in the previous week.

(With inputs from agencies)