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Covid cases on rise, don’t lower guard, Center tells states

Amid a sudden rise in Covid infections across the country, the Center has asked states “not to lower their guard” and also keep an eye on the spread of the virus through adequate testing.

In a letter to the states on Thursday, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan has cautioned that the country’s average of daily cases increased to 4,207 during the week ending June 8, against 2,663 the previous week.

The letter says the past 24-hour period has seen 7,240 new cases, of which 81% were recorded in four states: Maharashtra, Kerala, Delhi and Karnataka.

The test positivity rate (TPR) has also gone up — to 1.12% during the week ending June 8 from 0.63% a week earlier, the letter stated. TPR or the proportion of positive cases in the total samples tested is indicative of the spread of the infection in the community.

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Bhushan has asked states to ensure adequate testing for early detection of cases and also to have an “accurate picture” of the level of spread. He has asked them to keep an eye “not only on the number of tests per million conducted, but also on the proportion of the more accurate RT-PCR tests”.

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