The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday said out of the 10 districts most severely affected by Covid-19, seven are in Maharashtra and one each in Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Delhi. Out of the overall active Covid cases in the country, 58 per cent are reported from Maharashtra.
As much as 34 per cent of the total deaths have been reported in Maharashtra, according to the Ministry.
Addressing a press conference, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said, "All state governments have been suggested to increase the percentage of RT-PCR tests which is dipping in Maharashtra since the last few weeks. Only 60 per cent of total tests were done through RT-PCR method in Maharashtra last week. We suggest states to take it up to 70 per cent or above."
Speaking about Chhattisgarh, Bhushan said despite being a small state, it reported six per cent of the total Covid-19 cases and nearly 3 per cent of the total deaths which is a cause of concern. The overall condition of Chhattisgarh has deteriorated in the second wave of infections.
Bhushan emphasised the need for RT-PCR testing, saying the Centre has already suggested to all states to increase the number of RT-PCR tests up to 70 per cent.
He said that the government has constituted 50 high-level multi-disciplinary public health teams and deployed them in 50 districts across Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Punjab in view of the recent surge in Covid-19 cases.
According to the Health Ministry, public health teams would be sent to 30 districts of Maharashtra, 11 districts of Chhattisgarh and nine districts of Punjab to assist the state health departments and local authorities in Covid-19 surveillance, control and containment measures.
Bhushan said "The teams will visit the states immediately and monitor the overall implementation of Covid-19 management, especially in testing, including surveillance and containment operations, Covid-19 appropriate behaviour and its enforcement, availability of hospital beds, sufficient logistics, including ambulances, ventilators and medical oxygen."
He added that three senior officials from the Central government have been appointed as nodal officers for Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Punjab. The high-level teams would report to and coordinate with the nodal officers for the three states.
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