New Delhi, Sep 6 (IANS) As the country saw a new high in Covid-19 cases with over 90,000 new infections in 24 hours, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Sunday reviewed measures for containment and management of the disease in 35 districts spanning five states and a Union Territory with the Health Secretaries concerned.
These districts comprise Kolkata, Howrah, North 24 Parganas and 24 South Parganas in West Bengal; Pune, Nagpur, Thane, Mumbai, Mumbai Suburban, Kolhapur, Sangli, Nashik, Ahmednagar, Raigad, Jalgaon, Solapur, Satara, Palghar, Aurangabad, Dhule and Nanded in Maharashtra; Surat in Gujarat; Puducherry; East Singhbhum in Jharkhand; and all 11 districts in Delhi.
In the meeting, held through video conference, Bhushan underscored the need to suppress, curb and eventually break the chain of transmission of the disease by strengthening the active case search focusing on the co-morbid and elderly population; revisiting and strengthening the containment measures in the affected areas; and scaling up the testing to lower the positivity rates below 5 per cent.
In addition to the state Health Secretaries, District Collectors, Municipal Commissioners and other functionaries of the districts affected also participated.
The state Health Secretaries presented a detailed analysis on the current status of Covid-19 in these districts covering the aspects of containment measures, contact tracing, surveillance activities, facility-wise case fatality rates, trends in terms of weekly new cases and deaths.
They also discussed the detailed roadmaps and action plans for the next one month.
Details in terms of split of RT-PCR and rapid antigen tests conducted in the district, re-testing percentage of symptomatic negatives from antigen tests, testing lab utilisation, hospitalisation status and bed occupancies of oxygen-supported beds, ICU beds and ventilator, were also shared with the Centre.
The states and the UT were advised to take steps on specific areas like limiting the spread of the infection by implementing stringent containment measures and following social distancing measures, strict perimeter control, and active house-to-house case search.
They were asked to identify Covid-19 cases early by ramping up testing across the districts, and optional utilisation of RT-PCR testing capacity.
Besides, effective monitoring of home isolation cases and early hospitalisation in cases of disease progression; seamless hospitalisation and early admission for patients requiring medical support, especially in cases of co-morbid and elderly populations were also stressed.
It was suggested to follow effective infection control measures in hospitals to safeguard healthcare workers from contracting the infection.
District Collectors and other functionaries were directed to prepare and update district specific plans to continue their efforts to manage the pandemic with the same rigor.
The meeting came as India saw a massive spike of 90,632 cases, and 1,065 fresh deaths on Sunday, taking its tally to 4,113,811 cases. Out of the total, 862,320 are active cases, 3,180,865 patients have been cured and discharged so far while 70,626 succumbed to the virus.