Health secretary interacts with officials of 5 states reporting surge in COVID-19 cases

Last Updated 26 May 2020, 11:42 IST

The Union health ministry on Tuesday suggested five states reporting a surge in COVID-19 cases over the last three weeks to analyse the trends in containment zones and adopt course correction measures through proper implementation of micro-plans.

The states are Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.

Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan held a high-level review meeting through video conference with the chief secretaries, health secretaries and National Health Mission (NHM) directors of these states, the health ministry said.

"These states are witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases since the last three weeks as lockdown rules have been eased and inter-state migration has been allowed," the ministry said in a statement.

The states were briefed on their individual case trajectory with respect to fatality rate, doubling time, testing per million and confirmation percentage, it said.

Factors that need to be focused on for an effective containment strategy were pointed out such as perimeter control, diligent house-to-house survey through special surveillance teams, testing, active contact-tracing and effective clinical management.

"It was also emphasized that each containment zone has to be analysed to check the trends and adopt course correction measures through proper formation and implementation of micro-plans. The activities within the buffer zone were also reiterated," the statement said.

The states were asked to assess the existing health infrastructure in terms of quarantine centres, hospitals with ICU, ventilator and oxygen beds, and strengthen them looking at the need for the next two months, according to the statement.

Use of data emerging from the 'Aarogya Setu' application was also pointed out to the participating states, it added.

Regarding non-COVID essential health services, the states were reminded that immediate measures needed to be taken to continue programmes for TB, leprosy, COPD and non-communicable diseases like hypertension and diabetes, and treatment for injuries and trauma due to accidents.

It was advised that mobile medical units (MMUs) could be stationed at quarantine centres, temporary sub-health centres set up in existing buildings and additional frontline workers utilised, the statement said.

It was also advised that the link with Ayushman Bharat – Health and Wellness Centres needed to be established so that immediate health check-ups could be arranged. Tele-medicine services can to be rolled out from these centres, it said.

To meet the surge in incoming migrant workers, ASHAs and ANMs can be given additional incentives, the ministry said.

"The states were advised to ensure implementation of PPE guidelines with respect to the outreach teams and were asked to rope in NOGs, SHGs, private hospitals, volunteer groups etc., for augmenting their strength," the statement said.

They have been advised to pay special attention to vulnerable groups like pregnant women, children under five years of age, elderly and those with co-morbidities and also mobilise the Anganwadi workforce in the districts, it said.

It was stressed that nutrition needed to be checked among children under the age of five and recommend them to nutrition rehabilitation centres.

The death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 4,167 and the number of cases climbed to 1,45,380 in the country, registering an increase of 146 deaths and 6,535 cases in the 24-hour period since Monday 8 am, according to the Union Health Ministry.

(Published 26 May 2020, 11:41 IST)

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