NEW DELHI: The Covid situation, at least in some states, maybe showing some signs of improvement despite 42% of the total districts in India -- 310 out of 734 -- still showing runaway infections, the data presented by the Centre on Tuesday showed.
Eighteen states in India, which includes Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana among others, are showing a decline or plateauing of Covid cases, the Union ministry of health and family welfare said in a press briefing.
The glimmer of hope for the country dealing with the Covid catastrophe came on a day, the active coronavirus cases plunged by over 30,000 for the first time in over two months.
The major concern, however, persists as 16 states continue to show the surge in cases, pointed out Lav Agarwal, joint secretary in the health ministry.
It was also shared that while the country’s test positivity rate remains a staggering 21 %, 310 districts have positivity rates above the national average.
Underscoring the need to enhance the testing in order to curb the pandemic in rural areas, the government announced that rapid antigen tests will now be allowed at all government and private health facilities and said that RATs approved by renowned global agencies will not need separate validation in India.
As of now, said ICMR director general Balram Bhargava, RT-PCR testing capacity in the country is 16 lakh per day while 17 lakh RATs can be conducted every day.
Bhargava also said that home-based testing solutions are being explored and plans are afoot to set up RAT booths to be set up with the community in schools, colleges, community centers, RWA offices among others.
The Centre meanwhile also applauded the Covid19 containment models adopted by Mumbai and Pune in Maharashtra saying that such models need to be replicated at the national level to control the outbreak.
"The decentralized approach Mumbai has adopted in Covid-19 containment needs to be adopted at the national level,” said Agarwal at the press briefing.
“We have observed that strict measures like restrictions on mass gatherings and on the intermingling of people along with the closing of non-essential activities for a period of 15 days reduce the rate of growth of cases and cases start plateauing,” he said while showing Pune’s Covid graph.