NEW DELHI: Cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba on Tuesday asked state governments to immediately identify and earmark hospitals to deal with the coronavirus outbreak. In a letter to chief secretaries of all the states, Gauba also said it is absolutely essential that surveillance and contact tracing of all positive cases is taken up and no suspected or high risk person is left out.
"All states should immediately identify and earmark hospitals dedicated for management of COVID-19 cases and ensure that they are in a state of full readiness to deal with the situation in the event of a further spike in the number of confirmed cases," he said.
While appreciating the proactive steps being taken by the state governments to deal with coronavirus cases, Gauba highlighted that there has been an increasing trend in such cases being reported. "You would all agree that at this juncture we need to further enhance our efforts in respect of surveillance and contact tracing of positive cases in order to break the chain of transmission," he said in the letter.
The cabinet secretary requested the chief secretaries to suitably supplement the state and district surveillance teams with the 'Rapid Response Teams'.
He also said it is important that while these tasks are being monitored at the state-level by the state health secretaries, this activity is directly and regularly being monitored at the district-level by the district magistrates, involving the official machinery available in the district.
"I would request you to personally review the action in respect of surveillance and contact tracing measures as well as identification and preparation of dedicated hospitals," he said.
Coronavirus cases crossed 500 and one more death from the infection reported taking the toll to 10, as the Centre on Tuesday asked the states and union territories to clamp curfew wherever necessary in the wake of people defying lockdown orders in several parts of the country.
As 32 states and union territories announced complete lockdown till March 31 to deal with the pandemic, authorities are taking a serious view of people continuing to venture out despite the lockdown considering that the coming days and weeks are going to be extremely crucial to contain the spread of the infection.