New Delhi | PTI: The Union Health Ministry on Wednesday asked Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir to undertake a review of rising COVID-19 cases and weekly positivity rates, and enhance testing.

In letters to the Himachal Pradesh health secretary, Andhra Pradesh principal secretary of health and the Jammu and Kashmir additional chief secretary of health, Additional Secretary, Union Health Ministry, Arti Ahuja highlighted the increase in weekly new Covid cases since last week (October 26-November 1) and early signs of rise in positivity rates since the past four weeks till October 31. Ahuja also stressed on strict enforcement of Covid-appropriate behaviour, especially during festivities.

Previously on October 30, Ahuja had written to West Bengal and Assam, expressing concerns over the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the states.

In her letter to Himachal Pradesh, Ahuja pointed that there has been a nearly 22 per cent increase in weekly new cases since last week — 1,468 infections in the week of October 26-November 1, as against 1,201 in the week of October 19-25 — and that there are early signs of increase in positivity since the past four weeks — 2.7 per cent in the week of October 4-10 to 3.3 per cent in the week of October 25-31.

"Three districts of the state – Kangra, Bilaspur and Shimla – have been identified as districts of concern due to high quantum of cases and positivity more than 2.5 per cent," the letter read.

"It is reassuring to note that the state has witnessed a gradual increase in the tests conducted from 38,726 in the week of October 4-10 to 44,549 in the week of October 25-31. Although because of the rising positivity, the state needs to conduct enhanced testing while maintaining the required RT-PCR share as it will aid in early identification of infection in the state," Ahuja said.

Andhra Pradesh, she pointed out, has shown a high quantum of weekly new cases over the past four weeks, and although the weekly positivity is less than 2.5 per cent, it has stayed stagnant for the past two weeks.

Posted By: Sugandha Jha