States, UTs with higher incidences of COVID to accelerate vaccination

New Delhi: The states and UTs like Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand ,Delhi and Chandigarh will have to accelerate vaccination.

Reports said Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary and Dr Vinod K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog on Saturday interacted with Health Secretaries and MDs (NHM) of Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and UTs of Delhi and Chandigarh in this regard.

These States/UTs have witnessed increased positivity and rise in the number of daily positive cases. The officials reviewed the ongoing public health measures of surveillance, containment and management of COVID cases in wake of the steep rise.

Nine districts in Delhi, 15 in Haryana, 10 in Andhra Pradesh, 10 in Odisha, 9 in Himachal Pradesh, 7 in Uttarakhand, 2 in Goa, 1 in Chandigarh continue to be of concern as these districts are seeing a decrease in total tests being conducted, low share of RT-PCR tests, increase in weekly positivity and low number of contact tracing of the COVID positive cases.

The officials of the view that this phenomenon can pose high risk of transmission to the neighbouring States and UTs. The states were specifically asked to continue with the effective strategy of ‘Test Track & Treat’ that had yielded rich dividends at the height of the pandemic.

This apart they have to improve overall testing in districts reporting reduction in testing and increase share of RT-PCR tests in districts dependent on high levels of antigen testing.

The states were urged to refocus on surveillance and stringent containment of those areas in selected districts which are seeing cluster of cases.

Focus on clinical management in districts reporting higher deaths.

Actuate their health infrastructure to provide effective clinical management to all the patients as a surge in cases also affects the case fatality rate in those districts.

Accelerate vaccination for priority population groups in districts reporting higher cases. Make optimal use of the available vaccine doses and focus on critical districts.

To collaborate with the private hospitals to open up vaccination time-table for a minimum of 15 days and maximum of 28 days at a time.

Promote COVID-appropriate behaviour through communication and enforcement.

Stress was laid on prompt isolation and on medical supervision of those active cases presently in home isolation for early identification of progressive deterioration of the disease. The States were also asked actively watch out for super-spreading events and share their best practices in breaking the chain of transmission.

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