Covid-19: Centre flags rise in cases & deaths in 5 states, Jammu and Kashmir | India News

NEW DELHI: The Centre on Saturday raised concern over a sharp increase in daily cases of Covid-19 and rising mortality rates, particularly in five states of Odisha, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Mizoram and the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir, an alert heightened by the emergence of the Omicron variant.
Among the states that were flagged, J&K’s Kathua district reported a staggering 727% increase — though on a relatively low pool of cases — in infections between November 26 and December 2, as compared to a week earlier. Thrissur and Malappuram in Kerala are reporting increasing deaths, a more significant cause of worry.

Underlining the threat of the Omicron variant, health secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote to all these states and J&K urging immediate steps to enhance surveillance of foreign arrivals (particularly from ‘at risk’ countries), monitor emerging hotspots and ensure that all samples from Covid patients are sent for genome sequencing. The Centre has also been pushing states to expand vaccination coverage.
Apart from Kerala and J&K, Bhushan also pointed out big surges in weekly caseloads in four districts of Mizoram, including Saiha (237%), and six Odisha districts, including Dhenkanal (667%). In Karnataka’s Tumkur district, cases spiked by 152% in a week, and three Tamil Nadu districts also reported a large increase in new cases.
Overall, daily Covid-19 cases in India have been on a steady decline since the peak of the second wave in May, when over four lakh new cases were reported in a day.
However, the Centre has been studying the cluster of cases reported from some states, which is seen as a worrying trend particularly in the wake of Omicron.

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