New Delhi: The Union government has urged 13 districts, across eight states and Union Territories, to take measures for reducing mortality due to COVID-19.
Odisha’s Ganjam is one of those districts marked by the Centre.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has identified the most affected districts from states and UTs reporting high case load and a higher case fatality rate (CFR) than the national average, which currently is 2.04%.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan held virtual meetings with officials of these states and UTs to advise and support them on efforts to prevent mortality rate due to novel coronavirus.
Ganjam apart, the other identified districts are Kamrup Metro in Assam; Patna in Bihar; Ranchi in Jharkhand; Alappuzha and Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala; Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh; 24 Paraganas North, Hooghly, Howrah, Kolkata and Malda in West Bengal; and Delhi.
These districts account for 9% of India’s active cases and about 14% of COVID-19 deaths. They have also been reporting low tests per million and high confirmation percentage.
The identified states were advised to address the issues of low lab utilisation — less than 100 tests per day for RT-PCR and 10 for others; low tests per million population; decrease in absolute tests from last week; delay in test results; high confirmation percentage among the health care workers.
They have been advised to ensure timely referral and hospitalization in view of reports from some districts of patients dying within 48 hours of admission.
States were directed to ensure availability of ambulances with zero tolerance for refusal. The need to monitor asymptomatic cases under home isolation, with special focus on physical visits/phone consultation on daily basis, was also stressed upon.