Centre has asked nine high Covid caseload states – Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Telangana, Odisha, West Bengal, Assam, Karnataka, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh – to ramp up testing with special focus on containment zones.
These nine states are driving the present spurt of the active caseload in the country. The Cabinet Secretary chaired a high level virtual review meeting with Chief Secretaries and Health Secretaries of these states as part of Centre-State coordinated strategy for effective containment and management of the pandemic. The Cabinet Secretary had a detailed review on the State specific COVID response strategy with the Health Secretaries and other State officials as well as on the factors that were leading to rising case-load in these States in recent times. Areas of concern with respect to low testing in certain states were highlighted. It was reiterated that sustained and aggressive testing is crucial for early identification of cases and to prevent spread of infection.
The Cabinet Secretary stressed the need for prompt and proper delineation of containment zones as per the guidelines of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, intensive contact tracing and house-to-house active case search within the Containment Zones so as to effectively break the chain of transmission.
States were advised to have a clear focus on health infrastructure availability including requisite number of beds, oxygen and ventilators across the State with implementation of clinical protocols ensuring the prescribed Quality of Care and seamless patient management. Effective ambulance management with zero refusal rate was also highlighted in the review meeting. Cabinet Secretary also emphasized the imperative of keeping the fatality rates low. For this, mapping of high-risk population must be done, particularly the elderly and aged people and those with co-morbidities.
The attention of the States was drawn to the fact that early detection and timely clinical management is the key to contain the spread of COVID-19. A graded, proactive, progressive and well coordinated strategy of COVID-19 management between the centre and States and UTs has resulted in ever-increasing Recoveries in the country, with progressively falling Case Fatality Rate. There are, however, some States which have in the recent past shown high rise in daily number of active cases and are emerging as concern areas from COVID management point of view.