‘Focus On Testing, Vaccination’: Centre’s Advisory To 6 States Including Odisha After Spike In Covid Cases

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New Delhi: Amid the rising cases of coronavirus in the county, the Centre on Saturday shot letters to Delhi, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Odisha to focus on increase the pace of vaccination to contain the surge

According to the letter, Odisha has been reporting high average daily new cases for the past one month a high of 1,790 new cases reported on 5th August 2022. The State has also contributed to 5% of India’s weekly new cases and a high positivity of 4.85% in the week ending 5th August.

The challenges which need to be addressed have been highlighted to the State multiple times. But the consistent increase as indicated above brings to the fore the need for heightened action at the State level to contain the spread of cases.

Further analysis of the districts has highlighted various critical areas of concern, as follows:

  • ·         15 districts (mentioned in Annexure l) have reported a decline in the number of total tests conducted in week ending 04th August2022 as compared to week ending 28th July 2022.
  • ·         10 districts (mentioned in Annexure ll) have reported an increase in cases for the same time period.
  • ·         4 districts (mentioned in Annexure lll) have reported more than l0% weekly positivity in the week ending 04th August 2022

Upcoming months are likely to witness mass gatherings in context of various festivities to be held in different parts of the country, leading to large number of individuals undertaking intra and interstate journey or congregating at same places. This may potentially facilitate transmission of infectious diseases, including COVID-19.

lt is critical for the state to ensure adequate testing is undertaken in all the districts of the state while maintaining the recommended share of RT-PCR and Antigen tests. The state must also closely monitor districts reporting higher cases, positivity rates and clusters to prevent further spread of infection and

Genome Sequencing of prescribed samples of international passengers as well as collection of samples from Sentinet Sites (identified health facilities) and local cluster of new Covid-19 cases is equally important. Such samples must be sent promply by the State/UT to the designated lab of INSACOG network for Genome sequencing.

Renewed attention needs to be paid for ensuring of Covid Appropriate Behaviour in crowded places like markets, inter-state bus stands, sc6ools, colleges, railway stations, etc. Three is a need to promote Covid Appropriate Behaviour through- sensitization and public awareness campaigns, with active participation of local community leaders and other influencers.

 

State should aim to increase the pace of vaccination for all eligible population and accelerate the administration of free precaution doses for 18+ eligible population at all Government Covid Vaccination Centers (CVCs) under the ‘COV;6 Vaccination Amrit Mahotsav’ till 30th September 2022.

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