The Central government on Sunday sent high-level teams to Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh as support for Covid-19 response and management in the states after a rise in cases and deaths.

While a major spike in infections has become a cause of concern in Himachal, Punjab has recorded the highest death rate in India.

“These three-member teams will visit the districts reporting high number of Covid-19 cases and support the State efforts towards strengthening containment, surveillance, testing, infection prevention and control measures, and efficient clinical management of the positive cases. The Central teams shall also guide in effectively managing the challenges related to timely diagnosis and follow up,” a press release issued by the government read.

The Union Government had earlier sent these high level teams to Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Manipur, and Chhattisgarh.

Himachal Pradesh’s coronavirus death toll had crossed the 500-mark on Saturday with 18 more people succumbing to the infection, according to health department data. The death toll in the state now stands at 510, it said. Eight deaths were reported from Shimla, three each from Kullu and Chamba, two from Kangra and one each from Una and Lahaul-Spiti, while 915 new cases pushed the infection count of the state to 33,701.

In Uttar Pradesh, 24 new Covid-19 deaths were recorded on Saturday, taking the to 7,524 in the state, while the total cases surged to 5,24,223 with 2,326 new infections, officials said on Saturday. Twenty-three more people died from coronavirus in Punjab on Saturday as 719 fresh cases pushed the state’s infection tally to 1,45,667, according to a medical bulletin.

Faridabad and Gurugram had earlier began random testing of commuters from Delhi as the national capital struggles to contain record numbers of Covid-19 patients.

The positivity rate among people randomly tested for COVID-19 at Gautam Buddh Nagar’s Delhi border was higher than in non-border areas of the district on Thursday, officials previously said. The Gautam Buddh Nagar administration had on Wednesday started random testing of people coming from Delhi to Noida at the borders of the two cities.

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