- Nagaland has reduced testing by more than a third in two months
- India has so far reported 34.5 million COVID-19 infections
- Health workers have started a door-to-door vaccination campaign in India
New Delhi: An alarming fall in testing for COVID-19 threatens to undermine India’s efforts to contain the pandemic, the federal health ministry said on Wednesday (November 24) in a letter to state governments, as worries grew over fresh waves of infection abroad. India reported on Wednesday 9,283 new COVID-19 cases, a day after recording 7,579 infections – the lowest in 543 days. But testing has hovered around 1 million per day for the past few weeks, less than half the capacity.
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“In the absence of sustained levels of sufficient testing, it is very difficult to determine the true level of infection spread in a geography,” Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said in a letter sent to the northeastern state of Nagaland, which has reduced testing by more than a third in two months.
With a majority of countries seeing multiple surges in COVID cases in recent times and a few developed countries facing even fourth and fifth waves despite high levels of COVID vaccination, there is a need for continued vigil given the unpredictable and contagious nature of the disease.
The ministry delivered the same warning to other states, though each letter contained observations specific to the various states’ circumstances.
India has so far reported 34.5 million infections. The United States has the only higher total number of cases. Deaths in India rose by 437 on Wednesday to 466,584.
Health workers have started a door-to-door vaccination campaign in India as tens of millions of Indians have not taken their second dose by the due date.
India has so far administered 1.18 billion vaccine doses – at least one dose in 82 per cent of its 944 million adults and two in 44 per cent.
Also Read: Children Under Five Exempted From COVID-19 Testing While Travelling To India: Health Ministry
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, that is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.