Amid second wave scare, Centre rushes high-level team to 10 states and UT
The central government has deputed high-level multi-disciplinary teams to states and Union Territory that have seen a surge in Covid-19 cases.The teams have been sent to Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, MP, Gujarat, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Jammu and Kashmir.Also Read Bitter home truths for migrant workersThe three-member multidisciplinary teams are headed by joint secretary-level officers in the Union health ministry. They will work closely with the state administration and ascertain the reasons for a recent surge in infections.The teams will also coordinate with health authorities of the states for requisite Covid-19 control measures to break the chain of transmission."The state governments have been advised for regular critical review of the emerging situation with concerned district officials to ensure that gains made so far in Covid management are not lost," the health ministry said in a statement.The Centre has also written to Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, which have been witnessing a rise in Covid-19 cases, along with decreasing proportion of RT-PCR tests and a rise in positivity in some districts.In a letter, the health secretary has asked Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab and J-K to focus on undertaking aggressive measures, including amplified RT-PCR testing, to curb the spread of the virus."The states have been advised to increase testing in a focussed manner in the affected districts with the appropriate split of RT-PCR and Rapid Antigen Tests and to also ensure that all symptomatic negatives of antigen tests are compulsorily tested via RT-PCR tests. The positive persons must be promptly isolated/hospitalised, all their close contacts should be traced and also tested without delay," the ministry said.Covid-19 updateIndia's total tally of Covid-19 cases surged to 1,10,30,176 with 13,742 new infections, while the recoveries have surged to 1,07,26,702, said the health ministry on Wednesday.The death toll increased to 1,56,567 with 104 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed.The 104 new fatalities include 51 from Maharashtra, 14 from Kerala and 10 from Punjab.A total of 1,56,567 deaths have been reported so far in the country including 51,857 from Maharashtra followed by 12,472 from Tamil Nadu, 12,303 from Karnataka, 10,903 from Delhi, 10,253 from West Bengal, 8,718 from Uttar Pradesh and 7,168 from Andhra Pradesh.India's Covid-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 30 lakh on 23 August, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on 16 September. It went past 60 lakh on 28 September, 70 lakh on 11 October, crossed 80 lakh on 29 October, 90 lakh on 20 November and surpassed the one-crore mark on 19 December.