As Covid-19 cases surge, Centre rushes teams to states

Centre rushes high level teams to states witnessing surge in Covid-19 cases

The health ministry has been regularly engaging with states and UTs that have been exhibiting either a sudden surge in Covid-19 cases

The central teams have been deputed to Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Jammu and Kashmir. Credit: AFP

With Covid-19 cases on the rise, the Union Health Ministry on Wednesday dispatched central teams to ten states including Karnataka to review intervention strategies and find out the reasons behind the rise.

In the last one week, 12 states have reported more than 100 average daily new cases triggering a sense of alarm as the caseload was dwindling continuously since mid-September all over the country barring Kerala.

But the trend saw a reversal last week in many states, with the worst being Maharashtra. Maharashtra and Kerala reported more than 4,000 average daily new cases in the past one week.
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Other states on the radar are Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Punjab, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Telangana, Delhi and Haryana.

The three-member multidisciplinary teams visiting these states are headed by Joint Secretary level officers from the health ministry. The teams will work closely with the state officials to identify the reasons for the recent surge and the requisite measures needed to break the chain of transmission. 

The ministry asked the states to accelerate the vaccination drive and intensify testing with the increased RT-PCR diagnostics.

Read | Delhi makes negative Covid-19 test must for travellers coming from 5 states

“The need to accelerate the vaccination of vulnerable persons acquires urgency due to the rise in cases we are now witnessing. It must be ensured that the public health-based priority lists prepared by the government must be adhered to while increasing the number of vaccination centres,” K Srinath Reddy, president, Public Health Foundation of India told DH. 

In a letter to Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan asked them to focus on aggressive measures, to ensure that RT-PCR testing is amplified.

These states and UTs have been told to increase testing in the affected districts and to test all symptomatic who tested negative in antigen tests using RT-PCR.

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