NEW DELHI: The Centre on Thursday expressed concern over rising daily Covid-19 deaths in Karnataka and Delhi over the last few weeks as the number of fresh cases detected within a day from across the country crossed the 83,000-mark for the first time.
The Union health ministry also said that high test positivity rate among healthcare workers, including doctors, nurses, and paramedics, in 6 states --led by Telangana--is a matter of worry.
With 83,883 new infected patients detected on Wednesday, the total Covid-19 count in the country reached 38,53,406 while the death toll climbed to 67,376 with 1,043 more fatalities reported in 24 hours, as per the official figures.
With the highest daily Covid-19 tests -- 1.7 lakh -- conducted on Wednesday, the test positivity rate for India on this day, however, was 7.2%, lower than the cumulative TPR of over 8% since the outbreak began in the country.
India now has a total of 8,15,538 active cases -- 62% of which are in five states -- Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu -- said Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan in a press conference on Covid management on Thursday.
The growth of new cases in all these states, however, is on a decline on a weekly basis which may be a good sign.
There are 5 states, on the other hand -- Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Delhi which account for 70% of total Covid-19 deaths in the country so far.
What is worrying, however, said the secretary, is that in two states -- Karnataka and Delhi -- the average daily death grew over the last three weeks, as compared to the other three states where the average daily case fatality trajectory is on a decline.
“It grew by 9.6% in Karnataka in the last week of August while it rose by 50% in Delhi in the same period. But in Delhi, this rise was steep because of low numbers,” the official said, adding that fresh instructions have been shared with the Delhi government to keep the rising cases and deaths are in check.
The government is also concerned about the high test positivity rates being reported among healthcare workers in 6 states and Union Territories -- Telangana (18 %), Maharashtra (16%), Delhi (14%), Karnataka (13%), Puducherry (12 %) and Punjab (11%).
“TPR among healthcare workers in these states is on the higher side and we have taken this up with the state governments,” said the official. There could be issues related to infection management in hospitals, donning and doffing of personal protective equipment leading to the issue, he added.
In the same press briefing, Indian Council of Medical Research director-general Dr Balram Bhargava announced that the second round of national survey has begun and samples have been collected from 50 out of 70 districts where the surveillance exercise is being carried out.