States advised to increase RT-PCR testing, undertake priority vaccinations and promote COVID-appropriate behaviour, especially in districts reporting higher deaths and cases
Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba chaired a high level review meeting with Chief Secretaries of States/UTs of Maharashtra, Punjab, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Telangana and Jammu & Kashmir. These States /UTs have been reporting a high active caseload or an increasing trend in new cases in the last week.
The meeting to review and discuss the COVID management and response strategy, held through video conference, was attended by the Chief Secretaries and senior health professionals of the States/UTs along with the Union Health Secretary, DG ICMR, NITI Aayog Empowered Group members, and representatives from Home Ministry, as per a PIB release.
Six states – Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat- have shown a surge in new cases in the last 24 hours. Maharashtra continues to report the highest daily new cases at 8,333. It is followed by Kerala with 3,671 while Punjab reported 622 new cases in the last 24 hours. In the last two weeks, Maharashtra has shown the highest rise in active cases from 34,449 on 14th of February to 68,810 currently.
The states were advised to take the following steps:
- Improve the overall testing in districts reporting reduction in testing
- Increase RT- PCR tests in states and districts having high antigen testing
- Refocus on surveillance and stringent containment in selected districts reporting reduced tests/high positivity and increased cases
- Monitor mutant strain and clustering of cases for early hotspot identification and control
- Focus on clinical management in districts reporting higher deaths
- Undertake priority vaccination in districts reporting higher cases
- Promote COVID-appropriate behaviour 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.