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Haryana districts around NCR see alarming high positivity rate
Chandigarh, May 12 - With Haryana districts around the national capital showing an alarming high positivity rate as most of the Covid cases are being reported from the rural areas, the Manohar Lal Khattar government has gone into action mode, officials said on Wednesday.
At state's positivity rate of 21.46 per cent, national capital region (NCR) districts of Gurugram (2,659), Faridabad (1,255) and Sonepat (609) reported the highest number of fresh infections on Tuesday.
The state Health Department tested 64,874 samples. The virus has so far claimed 144 lives.
Officials told IANS a majority of the cases have been coming from four districts that lie within 50-60 km of Delhi.
After Muslim-dominated Nuh (Mewat) and upscale Gurugram, the predominantly rural districts of Faridabad, Sonepat and Palwal have become state's coronavirus hotspots, triggering fears of surge in cases ringed around the national capital, admitted a health official.
At 37 per cent, Haryana was among the highest positivity rate, second after Goa's 48 per cent, the Union Health Ministry said on May 5.
Taking cognizance of the surge in Covid-19 cases in the rural areas after a meeting with senior officials, Chief Minister Khattar on Tuesday directed the officers to set up isolation centres in villages that come in the hot-spot category by May 15 and medical investigation in these villages should be started at the earliest.
He said during the medical screening campaign those having Covid like symptoms should immediately be quarantined in the isolation centres set up in the villages.
At the meeting the Chief Minister was apprised that initially there was a plan to set up 1,000 isolation centres for conducting the health checkups of the villagers.
The Chief Minister directed that to prevent the spread of the pandemic the velocity of work should be like a war-like situation.
He said 110 minibuses of Haryana Roadways are being converted into ambulances. Five ambulance buses each will be made available in every district, apart from this, one air-conditioned bus will also be available in every district, which can be used as an isolation centre.
He directed that oxygen tanks should be constructed as soon as possible for storage of oxygen in medical colleges. He also directed to install five to 10 new ventilators in every district.
Two-time former Chief Minister and Congress leader Bhupinder Hooda has advised the government to formulate a special policy for the rural areas with the sudden surge in cases.
"A large population in villages has been hit by Covid and they are fighting for their lives due to lack of treatment. While the villages have been hit, there is no system of testing or to treat them, forcing the people to use home remedies to save their lives," said Hooda, currently the Leader of Opposition in the Haryana Assembly.
"There have been reports of deaths in village after village and many families have lost their loved ones, but the figure of deaths in rural areas is not being shown in the government records," he said.
Hooda said the government would not be able to assess the exact situation without collecting data from the villages along with the cities. Also, there was an urgent need to scale up medical facilities in rural areas.
The Chief Minister had already launched a special Covid screening drive in all the villages by constituting 8,000 multidisciplinary teams.
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