Amid a significant surge in COVID-19 cases in six states, India's health ministry has advised local governments to take a risk assessment-based approach to prevent and contain the infection from spreading further, officials said Friday.
The federal health ministry wrote a letter on Thursday evening to the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana, asking them to pay attention to testing, treating, tracking, and vaccination.
A few states are reporting higher number of COVID-19 cases, "indicating possible localized spread of infection and there is a need to follow a risk assessment-based approach to prevent and contain the infection, without losing the gains made so far in the fight against the pandemic," said the letter from federal health secretary Rajesh Bhushan.
Bhushan advised the states to examine the situation of COVID-19 and maintain the focus on implementation of necessary measures for prompt and effective management of the disease.
"It is essential that the state must maintain a strict watch and take pre-emptive action if required in any areas of concern to control emerging spread of infection," he said.
According to health ministry data released on Friday morning, 796 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the South Asian country in the past 24 hours. India also reported five new deaths, taking the overall death toll due to the pandemic to 530,795. In India, there has also been a surge in influenza cases across many parts and the symptoms are similar to COVID-19. Patients are complaining of prolonged illness, cough, fever and respiratory problems.