Cabinet Secretary Reviews Surge in COVID Cases in Multiple States

Specific steps were recommended for Maharashtra, Punjab, Gujarat, MP, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Telangana and J&K.

2 min read
India is all set to begin the second phase of vaccinations against coronavirus from 1 March. Image used for representational purposes. 

Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba held a ‘high level review meeting’ with the representatives of the states and Union Territories currently seeing an upsurge in COVID-19 cases, to discuss COVID management and response strategy.

The Chief Secretaries and senior health professionals from Maharashtra, Punjab, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Telangana and Jammu & Kashmir attended the meeting, along with representatives from the health ministry, ICMR, NITI Aayog Empowered Group and home ministry.

According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, a detailed presentation was made about the COVID-19 situation in these states, focusing on the districts where numbers were increasing, and trends in positivity and testing.

The states/UTs provided information about their steps to enforce ‘COVID Appropriate Behaviour’ including levying fines and challans, as well as surveillance and containment actions and other steps as per central government guidelines.

The Cabinet Secretary, “reiterated that States need to maintain a continued rigorous vigil in terms of containing the spread and not squander away the gains of the collective hard work of the last year.”

The states/UTs were told to follow effective surveillance for potential superspreader events, and ensure effective testing and tracking, as well as isolation and quarantine of positive cases and their close contacts.

The following specific steps were advised for these states/UTs, according to a health ministry press release:

  1. Improve the overall testing in districts reporting reduction in testing
  2. Increase RT-PCR tests in states & districts having high antigen testing
  3. Refocus on surveillance and stringent containment in selected districts reporting reduced tests/high positivity & increased cases
  4. Monitor mutant strain & clustering of cases for early hotspot identification & control
  5. Focus on clinical management in districts reporting higher deaths
  6. Undertake priority vaccination in districts reporting higher cases
  7. Promote COVID-appropriate behavior ensure effective citizen communication to not let complacency set in, especially in light of vaccination drive entering the next phase; and enforcing stringent social distancing measures.

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