Centre said that there were 53 other districts where the COVID positivity rate was between 5% and 10%.
COVID-19 positivity rate in India: As the threat of the third wave of coronavirus looms, the Centre has warned 10 states to consider imposing strict curbs in the 46 districts where the positivity rate is above 10%. The 10 concerned states are Maharashtra, Kerala, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Mizoram, Assam, Manipur, and Meghalaya. The restrictions that the Centre has asked states to consider include curtailing or preventing the movement of users and crowding, since these states are witnessing a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases, becoming a cause for concern. Apart from this, the Centre said that there were 53 other districts where the COVID positivity rate was between 5% and 10%, and thus, it asked the states to ramp up the conducting of tests to detect the cases.
The Union Health Ministry also warned these states that any kind of laxity, as that could cause the situation to worsen in these areas, and consequently, these states. But what is the current status of these states in terms of COVID-19 cases? Financial Express Online takes a look:
At the moment, Kerala has 1.65 lakh active cases of coronavirus, higher than any other state, and in the past 24 hours, the active cases have increased by over 3,600 cases. Currently, the state is accounting for over 40% of the active cases in the country, and its active cases are more than double that of Maharashtra, which has the second-highest number of active cases. Experts are worried that the state could drive India towards a third wave. Keeping the increasing cases in mind, the state ordered a complete lockdown over the weekend as an urgent measure to contain the spread of the virus. The situation worsened after Kerala allowed a three-day ease of restrictions for Eid earlier this month despite objection from the apex court. Currently, the positivity rate of the state is over 13% as per the Kerala COVID dashboard.
The state has 80,138 active cases at the moment – second highest in the country. Though over the last 24 hours, the active cases have declined by 733, the fact that it still accounts for about 20% of the total active cases in the country is concerning, especially due to the fact that Maharashtra is a big state and has a high population density, which makes the spread of Covid-19 cases faster. The state had also been the driving force behind the second wave of the virus, which is why stringent measures need to be imposed early on in Maharashtra. However, the state has instead ordered the reopening of theatres and malls, etc, easing the coronavirus restrictions.
With about 23,820 active cases at present, Karnataka is also a critical state since in the last 24 hours, it has reported a net increase of 318 active cases. This means that in Karnataka, too, the new cases in the past 24 hours have been higher than the number of recoveries it reported. The state has continued the imposition of night curfew but has allowed theatres and cinema halls to operate at 50% capacity. Moreover, last month, it allowed colleges and higher education institutes to begin operations but stated that only teachers, staff, and students who have received at least one COVID vaccine dose would be allowed to attend, with the students having the option to choose whether they wish to physically attend the college or not. Moreover, now, the state has allowed district commissioners of all districts to impose additional restrictions where they deem necessary.
Currently, 20,716 active Covid-19 cases are present in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, but its active cases declined by 218 in the past 24 hours, meaning that the new cases were less than the number of recovered cases. While that is a positive sign, it is not sure for how long the state would be able to maintain this positive trend. However, the state is imposing additional restrictions to prevent the spread, like making a negative RT-PCR mandatory for those coming into the state from Kerala. Apart from that, Chennai Corporation has also ordered shops in commercial areas to remain shut till August 9 as CM Stalin allowed local authorities to impose required restrictions to curtail the spread.
21,180 active cases are present in Andhra Pradesh, but in a positive trend, the positivity rate in the state has declined to 2.6%. The state, however, has extended the night curfew till August 14, and has announced that violator would be penalised as per the Disaster Management Act and the IPC, even as a few weeks ago the state had allowed cinema halls and theatres to reopen.
Over 14,500 cases are active in Odisha, but the state is set to relax COVID-19 restrictions from Sunday and these eased restrictions would continue till September 1. While the night curfew would continue, the state has withdrawn the weekend shutdown rule, with the exception of Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, and Puri since the transmission rates in these areas is still high. The restriction would continue on religious, social and political gatherings, and cinema halls can operate at 50% capacity. Shops and malls can open in the state from 6 in the morning till 8 pm, and educational institutions, barring coaching centres, would be allowed to function as per the orders of the respective departments. Most tourist places and transportation facilities have also been allowed to open with COVID-19 protocols in place.
Manipur has over 10,500 active cases, which have witnessed a net decline in the state in the last 24 hours. The state’s lockdown curfew is set to continue till August 3, as per which, essential activities around vaccination, hospitals, water and electricity supply, LPG supply, air travel, garbage collection, etc were allowed, along with food delivery by authorised delivery staff, insurance offices, and delivery of vegetables, grocery and meat, etc.
Meghalaya has 5,966 active cases, and on Saturday, the East Khasi Hills district, where the positivity rate is above 10%, announced that there would be no unauthorised inter-district movement, and that night curfew would remain in place. Sundays would have total curfews with no non-essential movements allowed. Home delivery/takeaway services, e-commerce activities, and courier services, however, would be permitted. The guidelines would come into force on Monday until further orders.
Mizoram has 12,388 active cases, and over the past 24 hours, there has been a net increase of 213 in this figure. The state had imposed a total lockdown in Aizawl till July 31, and further information on the lockdown guidelines is awaited from the state.
Assam has over 13,000 active cases, though this figure has declined in the last 24 hours. Recently, though, the state has announced a total lockdown in two districts where the COVID positivity rate is concerning. Further, it has also ordered that any area where the seven-day positivity rate reached 10%, the area would be declared as a containment zone and only essential activities would be allowed to continue in those areas.