Centre asks states to intensify contact tracing, surveillance for influenza amid COVID-19 pandemic

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan urged states to aggressively pursue the download of Aarogya Setu app to aid contact tracing and surveillance, and for self assessment by people.

Published: 09th May 2020 09:47 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th May 2020 09:47 AM   |  A+A-

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. (File Photo | Shekhar Yadav, EPS)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Amid rising COVID-19 cases, the Centre has asked states to intensify surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and influenza like illnesses in districts unaffected/ with no cases in last 14 days.

The exercise, should be carried out by the integrated disease surveillance programme through medical colleges, the Union government has directed states. "While some states have worked in this direction, others need to focus on more effective surveillance, contact tracing, house to house survey and early diagnosis," said Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan after reviewing COVID 19 outbreak status in north-eastern states on Saturday.

So far, 59,662 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed of whom 17,847 persons have been cured and 1,981 died. The minister also urged states to aggressively pursue the download of Aarogya Setu app to aid contact tracing and surveillance, and for self assessment by people.

He also advised states to put information of the earmarked facilities for COVID-19 like the dedicated COVID hospitals, COVID health centres and care centers in public domain to help people access the services.

North eastern states were told that while funds have been allocated by Ministry of DONER for strengthening of the health infrastructure, and states need to submit their proposals for availing of funds. The testing capacity has now been ramped up in the country and it is 95,000 tests per day with 332 Government laboratories and 121 private laboratories.

Cumulatively, 15,25,631 tests have been conducted so far for the infection. The Centre has also reiterated to states that in addition to the COVID-19 care, non-COVID-19 health services should also be ensured.

"Due attention was required to be paid to health care services such as antenatal care for pregnant women, immunization drives, outpatient and inpatient services, screening of non-communicable diseases and tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment," said the minister.


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