Centre Reviews COVID-19 Situation In Ten States Reporting Upsurge In COVID-19 Cases, Test Positivity Rate

Centre Reviews COVID-19 Situation In Ten States Reporting Upsurge In COVID-19 Cases, Test Positivity RateA health worker collects swab sample for Covid-19 test (Representative image)

The Centre on Saturday (31 July) reviewed the Covid-19 situation in ten states that are witnessing an upsurge in Covid cases and Test Positivity Rate (TPR).

The ten states - Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Andhra Pradesh and Manipur - are either reporting a rise in new daily COVID cases or a rise in positivity, a Union Health Ministry statement said.

In a high-level review meeting chaired by Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, the states were advised to prevent crowds and intermingling in districts with over 10 per cent TPR.

During the meeting, the public health measures taken for surveillance, containment and management of Covid-19 by the health authorities in these states were also reviewed.

ICMR director General Dr Balram Bhargava along with Principal Secretary (Health), Mission Director (NHM), State Surveillance Officer of all these states participated in the review meeting.

Bhushan underlined that all districts reporting positivity rate more than 10 per cent in the last few weeks need to consider strict restrictions to prevent or curtail movement of people, formation of crowds and intermingling of people to prevent spread of infection.

He also underlined that any laxity at this stage will result in deterioration of the situation in the districts, the Health Ministry said.

"More than 80 per cent active cases in these states are reported to be in home isolation. There is need to effectively and strictly monitor these cases so that they are not intermingling and circulating in their neighborhoods, community, village, mohalla, ward etc., and spreading the infection," the Health Secretary said.

He added that those in home isolation should be effectively monitored in such a manner to ensure that those who require hospitalization are seamlessly transferred for timely clinical treatment.

The states were also advised to focus on those districts where the positivity rate is less than 10 per cent, so as to protect these districts and the people by focusing on saturation of vaccination in these districts.

They were also advised to direct private hospitals to put up hospital-based PSA oxygen plants.

ICMR director general Bhargava warned against any complacency with around 40,000 cases being reported daily since the preceding weeks.

Highlighting the fact that 46 districts are showing more than 10 per cent positivity while another 53 districts are showing a positivity between 5 per cent -10 per cent, Bhargava urged the states to ramp up their testing.

States have been advised to conduct their own state level sero-surveys for district-wise disease prevalence data, as the national level sero-prevalence survey was heterogeneous in nature, in collaboration with ICMR to ensure the same sturdy protocols of survey, the Health Ministry said.

Bhargava also advised the states to ramp up vaccination in the 60+ and 45-60 age categories as evidence shows near 80 per cent of the mortality is from these vulnerable age-groups.

Regarding enforcement measures, he advised the state authorities for avoiding all non-essential travel and to discourage all large gatherings of crowds.

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