Visakhapatnam: Despite a stabilising trend for the last two months, Covid-19 has made strong inroads into rural areas of the state, which are reporting over 60% of cases at present. Till two months ago, urban pockets were the major contributors to the growth in numbers, with cities and towns like Vijayawada, Guntur, Kurnool, Narasaropeta, Nandyal, Anantapur, Visakhapatnam, Rajahmundry, Kakinada, Nellore and Kadapa accounting for a majority of cases.
New clusters, however, sprang up with the gradual resumption of economic activity and the phase-wise reopening after the lockdown.
For instance, in East Godavari, urban areas such as Rajahmundry, Kakinada and their surroundings contributed close to 80% of cases in the initial months of the outbreak. Now, for the last few weeks, Amalapuram revenue division has consistently outnumbered urban areas in terms of daily new infections in the district. The division alone recorded around 16,500 Covid-19 cases as of Tuesday.
In Krishna district as well, Vijayawada initially accounted for between 80 to 90% of all cases, but over time, the outbreak spread to Machilipatnam and Nuzvid revenue divisions and Mudinepalli, Kaikaluru, Mopidevi and Kalindi mandals.
Meanwhile, of the 50,000 cases reported from Visakhapatnam district, around 41,000 were from under Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) limits, which comprises close to half the population of the district. It was only later that new cases started to emerge from the rural and tribal pockets of Chodavaram, Paderu, Payakaraopeta, Anakapalli, Araku, Kasimkota and Sabbavaram. In West Godavari, Guntur and Kurnool, the virus has spread to almost all mandals.
Special chief secretary, medical and health department, Dr KS Jawahar Reddy said new clusters have cropped up even as the state has seen a significant improvement in the number of daily infections, deaths and positivity rate. “As the districts are already self-reliant in testing capacities and treatment facilities, we asked the district collectors to prepare sub-district level plans to analyse the disease trends in the new areas and take corrective steps. Active surveillance will be conducted in these new clusters,” said Dr Jawahar Reddy.

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