New Delhi: Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Wednesday chaired a high-level meeting to review the Covid situation in nine states reporting a surge in new daily cases or a rise in positivity.
The Centre flagged concern over low level of testing and vaccination in Kerala, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh.
NITI Aayog’s Member, Health, Dr V.K. Paul, who was also present in the meeting, said: “We need to be mindful that Covid has not gone. Looking at the global scenario, we need to be at high alert. There is poor surveillance, poor testing and below average vaccination in many states undergoing the present surge.”
He urged states to improve the testing in areas with high positivity, increase surveillance as per the revised surveillance strategy, and speed up vaccination.
Underlining critical Covid control and management strategies, Bhushan said that all districts reporting higher positivity rate need to undertake adequate testing with higher proportion of RT-PCR tests, warning any laxity will result in deterioration of the situation in these districts.
He also said that there is need to effectively and strictly monitor home isolation cases so that they are not intermingling and circulating in their neighbourhoods, community, village, mohalla, ward etc., and spreading the infection.
States were advised to conduct surveillance as per revised surveillance strategy issued on June 9. The states were further directed to report district-wise SARI (Severe Acute Respiratory Illness) and ILI (Influenza-like Illness) cases on a daily basis, and also, send these for genome sequencing to mapped INSACOG labs.
States were urged in the review meeting to accelerate administration of ongoing free Covid-19 vaccination for 1st, 2nd, and precaution dose. States were further urged to intensify the implementation of Free Precaution Doses for 18+ population under ‘Covid Vaccination Amrit Mahotsav’ till September 30.
AIIMS Director, Dr Randeep Guleria advised states to be attentive to clinical symptoms of Covid patients and not wait till their genome sequencing is done to identify whether a cluster is emerging in any state.
States need to be attentive to the changing pattern of clinical manifestation of hospitalised patients, he said.