Be vigilant while easing Covid restrictions: Centre

Watch out for rise in Covid-19 cases amid easing of restrictions: Centre to states

111 districts across the country were reporting more than 100 cases daily as on June 27

A BMC health worker observes a swab sample of a passenger for Covid-19 test, at Dadar railway station in Mumbai. Credit: PTI Photo

Striking a word of caution, the Centre on Tuesday asked states to adopt a “carefully calibrated” approach as they ease restrictions following a decline in Covid-19 cases.

In an advisory issued by the Union Home Ministry, the state governments and union territory administrators have been asked to keep continued focus on containment efforts to curb the spread of infection till July 31.

“On witnessing any early sign of an increase in the case positivity rate and higher bed occupancy, necessary action should be taken for containment and upgrading the health infrastructure,” Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said in a communication to states and union territories.

He asked the states and union territories to “consider implementation of targeted and prompt actions” for Covid-19 management as conveyed in Health Ministry advisory, issued June 28, till July 31.

Also read: About 49% of 60 years & above population vaccinated with first dose of Covid vaccine: Centre

Bhalla said the states should regularly monitor the districts with a high number of active coronavirus cases per million population as it is an important indicator to predict the need for upgrading the health infrastructure and logistics, so that early and prompt action can be taken.

The states should consider imposing restrictions in districts with high positivity rate and bed occupancy, the advisory said, adding that such restrictions should remain in place for a minimum period of 14 days.

According to the Health Ministry, 111 districts across the country were reporting more than 100 cases daily as on June 27.

“There should be a continuous focus on the five-fold strategy for an effective management of Covid-19 i.e. test-track-treat-vaccination and adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour,” the Home Secretary said.

He said there should be no let up in adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour while easing of restrictions.

The Home Secretary underscored that “adequate testing is crucial” for early identification of cases and curbing the spread of infection. He asked states to ensure availability of RT-PCR machines and test kits in all districts.

He also asked states to focus on upgradation of health infrastructure, timely commissioning of PSA plants in hospitals, adequate planning for medical oxygen, and maintaining of buffer stocks of drugs.

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