Union health secretary ‘pulls up’ Karnataka over surge in Covid-19 cases

Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan Saturday asked Karnataka principal secretary (health) TK Anil Kumar to take measures to contain the spread of Covid-19 infection. Notably, the direction came after Karnataka experienced a surge in Covid-19 cases.

On Friday, Karnataka had reported 2,042 new Covid-19 cases and the positivity rate for the day was 6.32 per cent. In total, 32,277 tests were conducted during the day.

Bhushan also stated that the upcoming festive months will attract huge congregations and entail a large number of inter- and intra-state journeys that could potentially become a facilitator for the spread of the infection.

“Upcoming months are likely to witness mass gatherings in context of various festivities to be held in different parts of the country, leading to a large number of individuals undertaking intra and interstate journeys or congregating at the same places. This may potentially facilitate transmission of infectious diseases, including Covid-1 9. lt is critical for the state to ensure adequate testing is undertaken in all the districts of the state while maintaining the recommended share of RT-PCR and antigen tests. The state must also closely monitor districts reporting higher cases, positivity rates and clusters to prevent further spread of infection and effective case management,” the letter said.

Apart from emphasising on the genome sequencing of the samples collected from international passengers and Covid-19 clusters, Bhushan highlighted that a renewed attention needs to be paid for ensuring adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour in crowded places like markets, inter-state bus stands, schools, colleges, and railway stations, among others.

“There is a need to promote Covid Appropriate Behaviour through sensitization and public awareness campaigns, with active participation of local community leaders and other influencers. State should aim to increase the pace of vaccination for all eligible populations and accelerate the administration of free precaution doses for 18+ eligible population at all Government Covid Vaccination Centers (CVCs) under the ‘COVID Vaccination Amrit Mahotsav’ till 30th September 2022…” the letter stated.

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