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Center, states discuss new outbreaks in the cases; Focus on strict enforcement of RT-PCR testing and surveillance | India News

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NEW DELHI: The Center recommended on Saturday to states and UT that reported an increase in coronavirus cases to enforce appropriate Covid behavior by firmly addressing violations and ensuring effective surveillance in the event of potential super-spread events not to wasting last year’s earnings.
Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba chaired a high-level review meeting with top secretaries of state and UT from Maharashtra, Punjab, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Telangana, and Jammu and Kashmir.
These states and UT have reported a high load of active Covid-19 cases or an increasing trend in new cases in the last week.
“They were advised not to lower their guard, impose appropriate Covid behavior and firmly deal with violations. It was strongly emphasized that they need to follow effective surveillance strategies regarding potential over-spreading events,” the Union Health Ministry said in a statement.
The need for effective testing, thorough follow-up, rapid isolation of positive cases, and rapid quarantine of close contacts were also emphasized.
During the review meeting, states were recommended to conduct priority vaccination in the districts reporting the highest cases and monitor the mutant strain and clustering of cases for early identification and control of hotspots, it reads.
They have also been asked to improve overall testing in districts reporting a reduction in testing and to increase RT-PCR testing in districts that have high antigen testing.
States and UT were asked to refocus on surveillance and tight containment in select districts that reported low testing / high positivity and increased cases.
They have also been asked to focus on clinical management in districts reporting the most deaths and to promote appropriate Covid behavior to ensure effective citizen communication to not allow complacency to establish, especially in light of the campaign of vaccination entering the next phase, and the application of strict social distancing measures. .
Six states, Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, have shown an increase in new cases within 24 hours.
Maharashtra continues to report the highest number of new cases daily with 8,333. Kerala follows with 3,671, while Punjab reported 622 new cases in the last 24 hours. In the past two weeks, Maharashtra has shown the largest increase in active cases from 34,449 on February 14 to 68,810 today, the ministry said.
A detailed presentation was made on the current status of Covid-19 in these states with a focus on districts reporting increasing numbers of new cases or positivity.
This was followed by a comprehensive review with all states and UT.
The chief secretaries reported on the current situation in the states and their readiness to address the recent surge in Covid cases.
They reported on the enforcement of appropriate Covid behavior by imposing heavy fines and challans, reviewing surveillance and containment activities closely with district collectors, and other measures being taken in accordance with guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health. and Family Welfare (MoHFW). and the Ministry of the Interior (MHA).
The Cabinet Secretary reiterated that states must maintain a continuous rigorous vigil in terms of containing the spread and not wasting the achievements of last year’s hard collective work.

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