NEW DELHI: About 73 districts across 17 states and union territories reported more than 10 per cent COVID-19 positivity rate in the week from June 29 to July 5, the Union health ministry said on Tuesday.
Eight out of the 17 states and UTs are from the northeastern part of the country, according to the data presented by the ministry.
Addressing a press conference, Joint Secretary in the health ministry Lav Agarwal said these 73 districts include Arunachal Pradesh (18), Rajasthan (10), Manipur (9), Kerala (7), Meghalaya (6), Tripura (4), Sikkim (4), Odisha (3), Nagaland (3), Assam (2) and Mizoram (1).
These districts reported more than 10 per cent Covid positivity rate in the week from June 29 to July 5, he said.
On the rise in Covid cases in the northeast, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director General Balram Bhargava said, "We are encouraging the northeast states to do more testing and increase their reporting of testing because the problem there is that heavy testing is going on there so we have to ensure that testing continues in a rapid scale there."
According to sources, the health ministry will be writing to the states that are reporting high positivity in India.
Bhargava said testing has played such a key role in the fight against this Covid pandemic and testing has to continue at a "very very high level".
"Today, we have about 73 districts which have more than 10 per cent positivity. We have about 65 districts, which have about 5-10 per cent positivity and 595 districts, where it is below five per cent," he said.
Bhargava further said district specific measures should continue to be guided by test positivity rate.