New Delhi:

The most number of active Covid-19 cases have been found in 10 districts across India, including eight districts in Maharashtra, the most affected state in the country that has seen the highest surge in the number of infections, the health ministry said on Tuesday. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said while briefing the media that eight out of ten districts with most number of active cases across the country are in Maraharashtra

The 10 districts are Pune, Mumbai, Nagpur, Thane, Nashik, Aurangabad, Bengaluru Urban, Nanded, Delhi, and Ahmednagar.

The health secretary said that 807 cases of the UK strain, 47 cases of the South African variant, and one case of the Brazilian variant of the Covid-19 virus have been found in India so far.

The Union Health Secretary informed that the recovery rate in the country stands at 94 per cent while the case fatality rate stands at 1.34 per cent. According to Bhushan, the weekly national average positivity rate is 5.65 per cent. Maharashtra has a weekly average of 23 per cent, Punjab 8.82 per cent, Chhattisgarh 8 per cent, Madhya Pradesh 7.82 per cent, Tamil Nadu 2.50 per cent, Karnataka 2.45 per cent, Gujarat 2.2 per cent, and Delhi 2.04 per cent.

Stating measures that need to be taken to curb the spread of the disease, Bhushan said that those who test positive need to be isolated immediately. Bhushan said that surveillance of the COVID-positive patient needs to be done in case of home isolation, and if that is not possible then the person should be quarantined in an Institutional centre.

He said, "Isolation isn't taking place in most states, people are being told to isolate at home. But it's to be monitored if they're actually doing it. If they can't, they must be quarantined institutionally. Delhi was able to bring numbers under control through it." The Union Health Secretary also stated that all close contacts need to be tracked in 72 hours., including not just family members but others with whom the person is interacting.

Bhushan also expressed the need for increased testing with a focus on RT-PCR tests, adding that Rapid Antigen tests should be done in densely populated areas. "We spoke to representatives of these states. We told them why are they not increasing testing when cases are increasing. It's essential to increase testing with a focus on RT-PCR tests. Rapid Antigen tests be used for screening tests in densely populated areas," said the Union Health Secretary.

Responding to a question on whether the Maharashtra government has said that it wants to do door-to-door vaccination, Bhushan said," Till date, we haven't received any specific request from the Maharashtra Govternment. In India, we do Universal Immunisation but even there we've not done door-to-door vaccination." "We are facing an increasingly severe and intensive situation in some districts but the whole country is potentially at risk. All efforts to contain the virus and save lives should be taken, added Dr. VK Paul, Member-Health, Niti Aayog on the current COVID19 situation in the country.