Odisha Among 8 States & 2 UTs Asked To Step Up COVID Vaccination, Testing By Centre

New Delhi: The Centre on Saturday asked eight states, including Odisha and two union territories to increase testing, contact tracing and accelerate vaccination for priority groups in the worst-hit districts (10 in Odisha).

Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi and Chandigarh have been identified as witnessing a high active caseload. They have been asked to use the strategy of “test, track and treat” that yielded results at the height of the novel coronavirus pandemic, NDTV reported.

Sixty-three districts in the eight states and union territories “continue to be of concern as these districts are seeing a decrease in total tests being conducted, low share of RT-PCR tests, increase in weekly positivity and a low number of contact tracing of the COVID positive cases,” the Union Health Ministry said in a statement today. “These together can pose a high risk of transmission to the neighbouring states and union territories,” the Health Ministry said.

Of those identified by the government, 10 are in Odisha, nine in Delhi, 15 in Haryana, 10 in Andhra Pradesh, nine in Himachal Pradesh, seven in Uttarakhand, two in Goa, and one in Chandigarh.

An average close contact tracing “of a minimum of 20 persons per positive case,” should be conducted, the government has said in a suggested action plan that also stresses on improved overall testing and an active monitoring of “super-spreader events”.

“Make optimal use of the available vaccine doses and focus on critical districts, and collaborate with the private hospitals to open up vaccination time-table for a minimum of 15 days and maximum of 28 days at a time,” Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan and Dr Vinod K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog told the health secretaries of these states in a meeting.

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