NEW DELHI: Flagging that 13 districts across 8 states with about 9% of India’s active Covid-19 cases, have reported 14% of the total infection deaths, the Centre on Saturday reiterated the need of reducing case fatality rate by adopting necessary measures.
These districts include Kamrup Metro in Assam, Patna in Bihar, Ranchi in Jharkhand; Alappuzha and Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, Ganjam in Odisha, Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, 24 Paraganas North, Hooghly, Howrah, Kolkata and Maldah in West Bengal, and Delhi.
India, overall, has registered a total of 20,88,611 Covid-19 cases till Saturday morning and with 42,518 confirmed deaths. The CFR due to the infection stands at 2.04%. The country also added more than 60,000 cases, second day in a row, in its burgeoning pool of active cases, with 61,537 fresh cases raising the number of active cases to 6,19,088.
As part of an engagement exercise with the states reporting high case load and higher CFR than the national average, the Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan held a meeting on the 13 districts that also report low tests per million and high confirmation percentage.
A surge has been observed in the daily new cases in four districts Kamrup Metro, Lucknow, Thiruvananthapuram, and Alappuzha, said the Union health ministry, adding that several issues critical to reducing case fatality rate were discussed during the meeting.
The states were advised to address the issues of low lab utilisation – for example, less than 100 tests per day for RTPCR and 10 for others, low tests per million population, decrease in absolute tests from last week, delay in test results and high confirmation percentage among the health care workers.
“They were advised to ensure timely referral and hospitalization in view of reports from some districts of patients dying within 48 hrs of admission,” the ministry said in a statement following the meeting.
States have also been directed to ensure unavailability of ambulances with zero tolerance for refusal and the need to ensure monitoring asymptomatic cases under home isolation with special focus on physical visits or phone consultation on a daily basis was underscored.
“States were asked to ensure a timely assessment and make advance preparedness for infrastructure such as ICU beds, oxygen supply based on the prevailing caseload and the estimated growth rate,” said the ministry.
The Centre has also asked states to make sure that that the doctors from their Centres of Excellence take part in bi-weekly virtual sessions organised by AIIMS, Delhi where a specialist team of doctors provides guidance on effective clinical management of Covid-19 patients in ICUs.