NEW DELHI: Flagging a decline in the number of COVID-19 tests in many states and Union Territories, the Centre has asked them to enhance testing so that an effective track of the spread of the pandemic can be kept and immediate citizen-centric action can be initiated.
In a letter to states and UTs on Monday, Additional Secretary in the Union Health ministry Arti Ahuja advised them to pay attention to this aspect immediately and increase the testing in a strategic manner keeping in view the trend of case positivity in specific areas.
She highlighted that Omicron, which has been designated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a variant of concern, is currently spreading across the country.
Referring to the ministry’s earlier letters and the Home Ministry advisory of December 27 last year laying out the broad framework of pandemic management in the context of Omicron, Ahuja said testing remains a key and crucial component.
“However, it is seen from the data available on the ICMR portal that testing has declined in many states and union territories,” she wrote.
She said in all advisories on testing issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), including the latest on January 10, the basic objective remains early detection of cases for quick isolation and care.
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