Health Ministry Asks States, UTs To Conduct Covid-19 Test Of Grocery Shop Workers, Street Vendors To Control The PandemicCovid-19 testing.

The Union Health Ministry has asked states and union territories to conduct Covid-19 tests of the grocery shop workers, vegetable and other vendors, and warned that undetected infections in them can potentially spread the disease to a large number of people, reports NewsOnAIR.

In a letter to the states and UTs, union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan also stressed on the need for operationalising ambulance transport system with oxygen facility and quick response mechanism besides bringing down the refusal rate of ambulances to zero.

Bhushan said that primary aim should be to control Covid-19 outbreaks especially in new locations and to save lives at all cost. He stressed that the aim should also be to further reduce mortality and ensure that it does not cross the 1 per cent mark.

The health secretary pointed out that early detection of cases through aggressive testing, prompt isolation or admission in a healthcare facility and ensuring proper clinical management are major components of mortality reduction. He stressed on enhanced surveillance for influenza like illness, and severe acute respiratory illness as their symptoms are mostly the same as COVID.

He said that after identifying a positive case, a prompt contact-tracing should be undertaken and at least 80 per cent of the contacts must be identified and quarantined within 72 hours.

He also asked states and UTs to undertake weekly death audits to assess the determinants of death such as age differentials, comorbidities, late reporting to hospital and clinical protocols that were followed. This will help identify challenges to be addressed and will facilitate effective case reporting and ensure timely and required medical interventions.

In the letter, Bhushan also said that a regular house-to-house search must be done periodically to identify those who are at high-risk that is the elderly, people with comorbidities and pregnant women among others.

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