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COVID-19: Centre asks states to formulate district-wise plans

In a letter to chief secretaries of states, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said the current rise in coronavirus cases is a matter of concern.

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | March 30, 2021 | Updated 21:26 IST
COVID-19: Centre asks states to formulate district-wise plans
The RT-PCR tests must be more than 70 per cent as this impacts positivity rate, Bhushan said.

The Centre has asked states to take steps to control the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country and called for formulating 'District Action Plan'.

In a letter to chief secretaries of states, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said the current rise in coronavirus cases is a matter of concern and has the potential to overwhelm healthcare systems if not brought in control.

"Some districts that saw a high number of cases in August-November are again seeing a high growth rate of cases. In addition, a number of new districts that saw a limited prevalence earlier, are worryingly, showing a surge in COVID cases," the letter said.

There has been a surge in COVID-19 cases in the country in the last few weeks. India reported 56,211 new COVID-19 cases in the preceding 24 hours on Tuesday morning. The country's positivity rate stands at 5.65 per cent.

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"Each district, irrespective of whether it is seeing a surge right now, or is with a current low burden, should make a District Action Plan with clear timelines and responsibilities," Bhushan said.

The districts should map COVID-19 cases, review sub-area wise indicators like case positivity rate, growth rate of cases and doubling rate. "The RT-PCR tests must be more than 70 per cent as this impacts positivity rate."

Besides, the districts must also review geographical spread of infection everyday, set up emergency operation centres to monitor indicators 24x7, form containment zones, focus on mortality reduction, among others.

The Health Secretary also asked districts with high case load and fast growth in cases to target 100 per cent vaccination in priority age group of above 45 years in the coming two weeks.

Also read: COVID-19: CMIE bats for higher vaccination, says lockdown leads to job losses

The health secretary asked states to enforce physical distancing and proper wearing of masks, and isolating those testing positive, quarantining and testing their close contacts. "Thus, efficient implementation of "Test Track and Treat" remains the only proven strategy for control of transmission."

States, union territories and districts with low number of cases currently should not be complacent as lack of COVID-appropriate behaviour and laxity in public health effort can lead to sudden surges," Bhushan said, adding that "any complacency at this stage, and at any level, will have heavy costs".

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