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Surging R values in 8 states a major concern: Health Ministry

A total of 18 districts across the nation have shown the increasing tendency on Covid trajectory from the last four weeks that contribute 47.5 percent of daily Covid cases.

SNS | New Delhi |

Joint Secretary in the Union Health Ministry, Luv Agrawal said that in total, eight states have shown Covid reproductive rates (R values) of over 1.  , “We have observed increasing Covid R values in limited trajectory.” he said.  Agrawal expressed concern over the rising R values of Covid in Himachal Pradesh, adding that the second wave of Covid is far from over now.

The case trajectory of Covid-19 in India has registered a substantial decline, from over four lakhs per day at the peak of the second wave to 30,549 on August 3, said Agrawal, at a press conference here on Tuesday.

Stating that fresh Covid cases are being reported from limited areas, Agrawal said that last week Kerala reported 40.95 percent of total caseloads in India, followed by Maharashtra (19.43 percent) and Karnataka (5.94 percent).

Analyzing the district-wise Covid data, Agrawal said that in total, 279 districts reported over 100 cases in the first week of June. However, after one month, such districts’ numbers were confined to 107 and currently, only 57 districts are reporting over 100 cases.

A total of 18 districts across the nation have shown the increasing tendency on Covid trajectory from last four weeks, he added. It includes 10 districts from Kerala, 3 from Maharashtra, 2 from Manipur and one each from Arunachal, Meghalaya, and Mizoram.

Agrawal said that only these 18 districts contribute 47.5 percent of daily Covid cases. The 10 districts of Kerala have reported around 40.6 percent of Covid cases.

India’s active caseload has significantly declined and stands at 4 lakh currently. Kerala has over 1.65 lakh of active cases. In total nine states have over 10,000 active covid cases as of now. A total of 60 percent Covid cases are being reported from Kerala and Maharashtra only, he said.

India continues to keep positive trends of recovery rate at 97.3 percent.

“Overall declining trend observed across India in weekly positivity since the week ending May 10. Weekly positivity less than 2 percent for the first time in past three months have been noticed,” said Agrawal.

However, he said that 44 districts have over 10 percent of positivity rate. In total, 5 crore vaccine doses have been administered in the last five days, he added.

Talking about Kerala, Aggarwal said that the team sent to Kerala has submitted its report. Covid cases are growing at a rate of 17 percent in the Mallapuram district. The team has recommended strengthening testing and contact tracing in 10 districts of the state. The team has also recommended expanding the number of ICU beds in the state. Instead of 1:5 tracing, it should be 1:20, the team has recommended.

Talking about R values (reproduction values), Agrawal said, “We have observed increasing reproductive values in limited trajectory.”

Niti Ayog Member (Health) VK Paul said that trials on children’s vaccines are going on. An attempt has been made to show the national perspective in the Sero survey. In 80 percent of the cases, there are no symptoms of Covid, and it should not be linked to the death rate.

He said, “We have observed increasing tendency in eight states. Only contact tracing can stop the Covid-19 infection”.

(With IANS inputs)