India is facing an increasingly severe and intensive COVID-19 situation in some districts and the whole country is potentially at risk and all efforts to contain the virus should be taken, Dr VK Paul, Member (Health) of the NITI Aayog, said on Tuesday.

“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,” Dr Paul said addressing a press conference here.

The Centre has said that there is a need to exponentially increase tests in states, Union Territories that are reporting a spike in COVID-19 cases.

“We spoke to representatives of these states. We asked them why they are not increasing testing when cases are increasing. It is essential to increase testing with a focus on RT-PCR tests. Rapid Antigen tests be used for screening in densely populated areas,” Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said.

He said 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).”

Referring to virus variants, Bhushan said that of 11,064 genome samples sequenced, the UK variant was detected in 807 cases, the South African variant in 47 and Brazilian variant found in one case. (ANI)