Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan held a Coronavirus review meeting through video conference with the health secretaries of 15 districts across five states of Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, on Friday. He advised the states to curb the chain of transmission of the infection and bring down the COVID-19 mortality rate below one per cent.
These 15 districts comprise Chittoor, Prakasam, Mysuru, Bengaluru Urban, Ballari, Koppal, Dakshina Kannada, Davangere, Ludhiana, Patiala, Chennai, Coimbatore, Salem, Lucknow and Kanpur Nagar, which have a high COVID caseload. These districts are exhibiting higher active caseloads, fatality rates, and a surge in the COVID cases for the past four weeks.
In addition to the State Health Secretaries, District Collectors, Municipal Commissioners and other district functionaries also participated in the digital review meeting.
Union Secretary shared the overall status and performance of the districts on the key parameters of testing, positivity, case fatality etc., focusing on the need of continuing containment measures, increasing testing, effective clinical management of patients.
State Health Secretaries provided an in-depth analysis on the current status of COVID-19 in these 15 districts covering aspects of containment measures, contact tracing, surveillance activities, facility-wise case fatality rates, trends in terms of weekly new cases and deaths, etc. and shared their detailed roadmaps and action plans for the next one month.
Granularities in terms of split of RT-PCR and Rapid Antigen tests conducted in the district, re-testing percentage of symptomatic negatives from Antigen tests, testing lab utilization, home isolation status, hospitalization status and bed occupancies of oxygen-supported beds, ICU beds and ventilator etc., were also shared with the Center.
The states were advised to take steps on the following specific areas:
1. Limiting and eventually breaking the spread of the infection by implementing stringent containment measures and following social distancing measures, strict peri-meter control, and active house-to-house case search.
2. Early identification by ramping up testing across the districts, optional utilization of RT-PCR testing capacity and use of Rapid Antigen Tests as a screening test in hotspots and densely populated areas.
3. Effective monitoring of home isolation cases and early hospitalization in case of disease progression.
4. Seamless hospitalisation and early admission for patients requiring medical support, especially in cases of co-morbid and elderly population.
5. Following effective infection control measures in hospitals to safeguard healthcare workers from contracting the infection.
6. District Collectors and other functionaries to prepare and update district specific plans to continue their efforts to manage the pandemic with the same rigor.