NEW DELHI: As the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases crossed 2.5 lakh mark on Monday morning, the Centre reiterated the need of conducting house-to-house surveys in 38 districts across 10 states that have the highest caseloads.
In a meeting with district and state-level authorities, top officials of the Union Health Ministry asked states to make a district-wise plan for the coming months in view of the lockdown curbs being lifted.The districts that participated in the meeting headed by Union health secretary Preeti Sundan were from Maharashtra, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh.
Main issues discussed were the widespread infection in densely populated urban areas, the importance of house-to-house surveys, prompt testing followed by isolation, clinical management of cases and containment strategy.
The country now has 2,56,611 confirmed cases of which 7,135 have died. Health ministry officials advised states on the measures to be taken in the containment zones for case management and buffer zones surveillance activities and promotion of COVID-appropriate behaviour.
To reduce the fatality rate, the Centre has stressed on measures such as prioritising the high-risk and vulnerable segments like elderly people and people with co-morbidities while contact-tracing to prevent deaths; active surveillance, adequate testing and promoting health-seeking behaviour for timely detection of cases and ensuring prompt shifting of patients without escalating the symptoms.
On the issues of infrastructure and human resource management for the containment of Covid-19, the Centre asked states to carry out proper planning for health infrastructure, deploy an adequate number of surveillance teams and set up a system for communicating bed availability. It was also stressed that care needs to be given to regular and essential health services.
The Centre also underlined the need for augmentation of the survey teams, efficient ambulance management, efficient triaging of patients at the hospitals and bed management and clinical management of the hospitalised cases through rotational 24X7 teams.
The secretary also suggested to states to involve elected representatives in rural areas for cooperating with the district health authorities for confidence-building and timely accessing of available health services and activating fever clinics for detection of severe acute respiratory illnesses and flu cases in the buffer zones.