Centre Asks Four States Including Odisha To Strengthen Efforts To Fight COVID-19

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New Delhi: Taking into account the surge in COVID-19 cases in Bihar, West Bengal, Assam and Odisha, the Union Health Ministry has asked these states to make renewed efforts to contain transmission of the virus and keep fatality rate below 1%, reported thewire.in quoting a PTI report.

 

Odisha is reporting an average of more than 500 cases every day for the past four weeks, the letter to the state’s Principal Secretary (Health and Family Welfare), reported thewire.in.

“According to active caseload, Odisha is the tenth most-affected state in the country with Ganjam reporting approximately 37% of the state’s active caseload,” the letter said, adding that there is a need to focus on emerging hotspots such as Nabarangpur, Sambalpur and Kendujhar.

“The increase in weekly fatality trend with almost 29% of cases above 45 years, is also a cause of concern,” the letter said.

 

All four states have imposed a lockdown. The health ministry has emphasised that the states should focus on containment, surveillance, and testing in containment and buffer zones as the key strategy for early detection of cases and fatality management, the report said.

In a letter to Principal Secretaries (Health) and Secretary (Health) of these states, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Lav Agarwal asked them to ensure that at least 80% of the new cases have their close contacts traced and are in quarantine within 72 hours of confirmation, the report added.

As per the PTI report, the letter underlined that containment and buffer zones should be delineated based on the mapping of cases and contacts. States should use National Cadet Corps (NCC) volunteers and other workforces.

“In terms of testing, the state should aim to achieve a minimum of 14 tests per one lakh (140 tests per million) per day, while ensuring a positivity rate of less than 10%,” the letter to the states read.

It also asked them to ensure adequate human resources, revamp ambulance systems, and helplines to ensure the resolution of problems of patients experiencing symptoms or undergoing home isolation.

“The Centre of Excellence for Clinical Management should undertake hospital wise/facility-wise fatality analysis and guide facilities with high CFR through regular VC on appropriate clinical management. Required support from 24×7 team set up by AIIMS Delhi for clinical management consultation may also be taken in this context,” the letter said.

All asymptomatic high-risk and mild symptomatic contacts should be tested as per ICMR, reported thewire.in quoting PTI.

The states have also been asked to use the forecasting tools made available by the health ministry to ascertain the number of COVID beds required and accordingly calculate the oxygen requirement.

“A nodal officer to keep a track of oxygen requirements and for relevant communication with the Centre is to be appointed,” the letter said.

“State should also focus on ensuring the availability of non-COVID services such as immunisation, maternal and child health services including other emergency and critical care services,” the letter stated.

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