Around 14 districts are currently under the hit list with a 10% Covid positivity rate

Covid positivity rate, According to the latest news published through The Times of India, reporters from Delhi after a close survey have recorded that the rate of Covid Positivity stretch now touches around 14 districts, reports Durgesh Nandan Jha. A weekly analysis of the trend from March 12 to 18 has revealed that 34 districts had Covid positivity rates of just 5% to 10%, till 14th March 2023, the number was 15. In the March 8 to 14 weeks, the number of districts with a 10% or more positivity rate was nine.

The Covid positivity rate is defined by the percentage of samples turning positive from those tested for the coronavirus. Thus, a good idea suggests conducting genome sequencing of positive samples from areas where the positivity rate is very high to rule out the possibility of the emergency of a new variant which may be behind the sudden surge in cases, reported by N K Mehra, immunologist and emeritus scientist of ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research).

However, according to the latest news in Delhi, the data fetches that three districts namely- northeast (5.71%), east (5.34%) and south (7.49%), have recorded positivity rates above 5%. In the state of Maharashtra, the cities of Pune, Ahmednagar, Akola, Nashik, Sangli, Aurangabad, Kolhapur and Solapur have positivity rates of over 5%. Some more places to fall under the same fate are Bangalore, Mysuru and Shivamogga in Karnataka.

Other states with similar Covid positivity rates include Gujarat, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Haryana, Kerala, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. Our Union Health Secretary, Rajesh Bhusan has stated last week that he had written to Maharashtra, Telangana, Gujarat, Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to implement strict healthcare measures for prompt and effective management of Covid-19. The rise of Covid cases in Maharashtra has coincided with the genome sequencing results confirming the presence of XBB.1.1.16, which is a new Omicron sub-variant, he added.

A consortium of laboratories under the name of ‘Insacog Labs’ has been set up to monitor genomic variants in SARS-CoV2, a virus that causes Covid-19 and has reported about 40 genome sequences of this new variant of the Covid-19 virus from 1st January to 14th March from Maharashtra. This has been reported in one of Bhusan’s statements. There has been an increase in cases in the state of Gujarat too, especially in 7 districts where as per the report from Insacog Labs, they have concluded that 26 genome sequences of XBB.1.1.16 version of this deadly virus during the same period.

Recent surveys have also confirmed that epidemiologists predict this rise will continue, the preliminary reports suggest symptoms are mostly mild and are home-treated. There hasn’t been any significant rise in hospitalization cases, says N K Mehra, an immunologist and emeritus scientist at ICMR. He suggested continuing the surveillance to spot any potential cluster or emergence of any new Covid variant that can be a matter of concern. The data shared across the country, by our government suggests that a significant rise in cases through testing is low. On Monday, 20th March, India reported 918 new cases and the Centre have advised states with a rise in numbers to conduct a micro-level examination of the current situation.

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