Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan held a review meeting through video conference (VC) with the Health Secretaries of 15 districts across 5Statesof Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh today. These 15 districts comprise Chittoor, Prakasam, Mysuru, Bengaluru Urban, Ballari, Koppal, Dakshina Kannada, Davangere, Ludhiana, Patiala, Chennai, Coimbatore, Salem, Lucknow and Kanpur Nagar. They have been exhibiting higher active caseload, fatality rates and a surge in the COVID cases for the past four weeks. In addition to the State Health Secretaries, District Collectors, Municipal Commissioners and other district functionaries also participated in the digital review meeting.
The Union Secretary shared the overall status and performance of the districts on the key parameters of testing, positivity, case fatality etc., focusing on the need of continuing containment measures, increasing testing, effective clinical management of patients.State Health Secretariesprovided an in-depth analysis on the current status of COVID-19 in these 15 districts coveringaspects of containment measures, contact tracing, surveillance activities, facility-wise case fatality rates, trends in terms of weekly new cases and deaths, etc. and shared their detailed roadmaps and action plans for the next one month.
Granularities 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 utilization, home isolation status, hospitalization status and bed occupancies of oxygen-supported beds, ICU beds and ventilator etc., were also shared with the Center.
The States were advised to take steps on the following specific areas:
- Limiting and eventually breaking the spread of the infection by implementing stringent containment measures and following social distancing measures, strict peri-meter control, and active house-to-house case search.
- Early identification by ramping up testing across the districts, optional utilization of RT-PCR testing capacity and use of Rapid Antigen Tests as a screening test in hotspots and densely populated areas.
- Effectivemonitoring of home isolation cases and early hospitalization in case of disease progression.
- Seamless hospitalization and early admission for patients requiring medical support, especially in cases of co-morbid and elderly population.
- Following effective infection control measures in hospitals to safeguard healthcare workers from contracting the infection.
- District Collectors and other functionaries to prepare and update district specific plans to continue their efforts to manage the pandemic with the same rigor.