Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Saturday chaired a high-level meeting to review and discuss the COVID-19 management and response strategy through video conference, in the presence of Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan and NITI Aayog Member (Health) Dr. VK Paul. The meeting was attended by the Chief Secretaries, Additional Chief Secretaries (Health), Principal Secretaries (Health), Municipal Commissioners, District Collectors and other senior officials of States and UTs.
Drawing examples from other countries that saw multiple peaks of COVID-19, the Cabinet Secretary expressed concern over certain pockets in the country reporting high test positivity. He advised the State Health administrators to undertake granular analysis of their COVID trajectory, ramp up their health infrastructure, undertake stocking of essential medicine and augment human tesources at the earliest, to meet any potential surge in cases, said a government release.
Meanwhile, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan highlighted the emerging challenge of Serotype-II Dengue in 11 States which is associated with more cases and more complications than other forms of the disease. He suggested the States undertake steps like early detection of cases, operationalisation of fever helplines; adequate stocking of testing kits, larvicides and medicines; deployment of Rapid Response teams for prompt investigation and necessary Public Health Action like Fever Survey, Contact Tracing, Vector Control; alerting blood banks for maintaining adequate stocks of blood and blood components, especially platelets.
States were requested to also undertake IEC campaigns regarding helplines, methods of vector control, source reduction at homes and symptoms of dengue.
The Union Health Secretary brought to the notice of the States/UTs that 70 districts in 15 states are a cause of concern as 34 of these districts have positivity exceeding 10% and in 36 districts, the positivity is in the range of 5%-10%.
In view of the forthcoming festival season, States were directed to ensure all necessary precautions and effective enforcement for avoidance of mass gathering and congested closed spaces. Existing guidelines regarding malls, local markets, and places of worship are to be strictly followed. States were urged to undertake effective IEC for promotion of COVID Appropriate Behaviour (CAB)and COVID safe festivities. They were advised to closely monitor the case trajectories in all districts on a daily basis to identify early warning signals and ensure imposition of restrictions and adherence to CAB, the release added.