Omicron Threat: Centre Suggests Poll-Bound States To "Exponentially" Ramp Up Testing To Curb Sudden COVID Surge

by Swarajya Staff - Dec 28, 2021 10:19 AM +05:30 IST
Omicron Threat: Centre Suggests Poll-Bound States To "Exponentially" Ramp Up Testing To Curb Sudden COVID SurgeA health worker collects swab sample for Covid-19 test. (representative image)

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan held a high level meeting with the five poll bound states of Uttarakhand, Goa, Manipur, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab to review the public health response measures for containment and management of COVID-19, and the vaccination status in these states, an official release said on Monday (27 December).

The meeting comes amid rising number of cases of the Omicron Coronavirus variant in the country.

While Uttarakhand and Goa have reported vaccination coverage for the first and second doses higher than the national average, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Manipur have COVID-19 vaccination coverage numbers below the national average, said a Health Ministry release.

According to the ministry, a total of 142.38 crore vaccination doses have been administered as on date, of which more than 83.80 crore vaccine doses are for the first dose and more than 58.58 crore are second doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

During the reveiw meet, the States were advised to speedily ramp up the COVID-19 vaccination of all eligible population for the first dose and ensure that those who were due for the second dose are administered the second dose, the ministry said, adding that district-wise weekly vaccination implementation plans are required to be drawn up for this purpose.

The state authorities were advised to review the implementation status on a daily basis.

The poll-bound states were also advised to exponentially increase the testing to ensure that the infected cases are identified promptly for timely initiation of public health response measures, and to ensure that there is no sudden upsurge in numbers due to low testing, the ministry said.

Further, the state authorities were strongly advised to ensure that recommended COVID Appropriate Behavior is strictly followed and adequate measures are undertaken for their effective enforcement.

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