March 30, 2023

All-India peak yet to come, go for strategic testing: Centre | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The number of Omicron cases in most metros has started falling but health experts are of the view that a “pan-India peak” is still lurking ahead as infection is now spreading to smaller cities, which are likely to see a surge over the next two to three weeks.
Taking note of this, the Centre has asked states and Union territories to enhance testing to identify new clusters and hotspots of infection. Testing has significantly declined in certain states and UTs even as positivity continues to remain high.
“In Mumbai, the decline is clear. In Delhi, the peak has been reached and decline should be seen in the coming week. Both of these should be sharp. India peak is still ahead, as the third wave spreads outside the bigger metros,” Anurag Agarwal, director of CSIR Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, told TOI.
Experts say the infection travels gradually from bigger cities to tier 2 and 3 cities, and though hospitalisations have been limited in metros so far, testing continues to be important for early detection, isolation and treatment. On Monday, 16.49 lakh tests were conducted across the country.
In a letter to states and UTs, additional secretary in the health ministry Arti Ahuja said, “It is seen from the data available on the ICMR portal that testing has declined in many states and Union territories. Progression of a disease to a severe category can be averted by strategic testing of those who are at high risk and more vulnerable, as well as in areas where the spread is likely to be higher.”
While ICMR recently issued new testing norms, waiving testing requirements for many categories, the health ministry has advised states to opt for “strategic and focused” testing of people who are vulnerable, living in closed surroundings, in densely populated areas in new emerging clusters and hotspots of positive cases.
“In order to ensure that an effective track of the spread of the pandemic is kept and also immediate citizen centric action is initiated, it is incumbent upon all states/UTs to enhance testing,” Ahuja said in her letter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *