Centre wants ‘surge states’ to copy Delhi model to reduce COVID-19 cases as India tally crosses ten lakh mark
NEW DELHI: As India lurches towards one million Covid-19 cases, the lack of uniform and standardised containment strategy is an emerging cause for concern.
Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal are reporting rise in cases while Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu continue to struggle.
The Centre hopes the states would soon fine-tune their containment strategies.
“Panic is the principal foe in containing the pandemic. Trust must be instilled in people that the system will take care of them if they are infected. That was done in Delhi by ramping up testing and bed capacities,” said a top official.
“The Delhi model must be replicated. The strategy must include isolating the super-spreader. While a surge is inevitable, we must aim at isolating the cases to lower the death rates,” Shamika Ravi, former member of the PM-EAC (Economic Advisory Council) and health expert, told this newspaper.
Delhi, without resorting to lockdowns despite ominous projections made by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on June 9, is now reporting less than half the positive cases from the peak 3,947 cases reported on June 23.
On the directions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, multiple agencies were brought in to work on a common strategy worked out by health experts.
“What has worked in Delhi is testing – it has been scaled up by seven times. This along with creating over 30,000-bed capacities has instilled confidence among the people,” said the senior official of NITI Aayog.
Ravi strongly recommends enlisting the civil society on the lines of Delhi.
“It’s not about a walking lion that will get you. Messaging is crucial and influencers must be roped in. The states have to deal with the issue of people hiding infections. Fears must be dispelled through communication,” she said.
Ravi also stresses surveys to identify people with co-morbidities and elders as part of the district-level strategy.