Centre has asked the states reporting surge in COID-19 cases to take up immediate and high effective measures to ensure containment of active cases and daily deaths through adherence of the standard Clinical Management Protocol. Eleven States and UTs including Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Delhi and Haryana and Chhattisgarh have been categorised as States of grave concern on account of rising daily case and higher deaths.
Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Friday chaired a high-level review meeting with Chief Secretaries, DG Police and Health Secretaries of all States and UTs. During the meeting, it was pointed out that Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities along with peri-urban areas have recorded the recent rise in COVID cases. The spread of infection from these areas to the rural areas with weak health infrastructure would overwhelm the local administration was also highlighted.
The states have been asked to increase testing continuously to ensure that positivity comes down to 5 percent or below it. Focus on ensuring RT-PCR tests comprise 70 percent of total tests and setting up of Containment Zones and Micro Containment Zones to break the chain of transmission were also advised.
Taking note of the present situation due to the continuous deterioration of the COVID scenario over the fortnight, Cabinet Secretary, Rajiv Gauba pointed out that the current COVID case growth rate of 6.8 percent last month has surpassed the previous record of 5.5 percent in June 2020. The country also reported 5.5 percent growth rate in daily COVID deaths in this period.
The Cabinet Secretary also exhorted the Chief Secretaries to galvanize the state administration and to use all resources at their disposal to tackle the recent surge of COVID cases. It was emphasised that the Centre continues to provide all resources and support to all States and UTs for public health measures and clinical management for fighting COVID19.
During the meeting, the Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan highlighted the current trajectory of COVID in the States and UTs while Information and Broadcasting Secretary Amit Khare showcased ways of effective Behavioural Change Communication to instill COVID Appropriate Behaviour among the populace. NITI Aayog Member Dr V. K. Paul emphasized on need for States to follow a protocol for sharing clinical and epidemiological data for more detailed study of mutant strain of virus for genome sequencing. Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla pointed out that the 11 States and UTs that are showing a surge in daily COVID cases have not shown commensurate increase in enforcement of containment activities. He urged the Chief Secretaries and DGPs of these States for taking appropriate strict action in this regard.