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Focus on early identification of COVID-19 cases, ramp up testing: Centre to NE states

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan held a video conference to review the COVID management strategies and actions taken in these eight states.

Published: 12th September 2020 10:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th September 2020 10:39 AM   |  A+A-

People maintain social distancing as they wait outside grocery shops during total lockdown imposed by the Assam Government to curb the spread of coronavirus in Guwahati Monday July 6 2020. (Photo | PT

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The Centre on Friday urged the north eastern states to focus on early identification of COVID-19 cases by ramping up testing along with effective monitoring of patients under home isolation and early hospitalization in case of disease progression to keep the mortality rate to one per cent or less.

Eight north eastern states -- Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim -- together account for less than five per cent of the total active cases in the country, the Union Health Ministry said.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan held a video conference to review the COVID management strategies and actions taken in these eight states.

The virtual conference was attended by the principal secretaries, health secretaries and other state representatives.

With 29,690 active cases (as on date), Assam presently constitutes 68 per cent share in the total active caseload of these eight north eastern states.

Tripura has 7,383 active cases and is at second place with 17 per cent of the total active caseload of these states, the ministry said.

The states were advised to focus on limiting the spread of infection by implementing stringent containment measures and following social distancing measures, strict perimeter control and active house-to-house case search.

They were urged to conduct early identification by ramping up testing across the states and districts, judicious and full utilization of RT-PCR testing capacity, besides, effective monitoring of home isolation cases and early hospitalization in case of disease progression, the ministry said.

Seamless hospitalization and early admission for patients requiring medical support, especially in cases of co-morbid and elderly population and on keeping the mortality rate to one per cent or less was also stressed.

The Union health secretary highlighted the need for continued enforcement of containment measures, increase in testing, and effective case management of patients in the hospitals.

The secretaries and representatives shared an in-depth analysis on the current status of COVID-19 in these eight states, covering aspects of containment measures, contact tracing, surveillance activities, facility-wise case fatality rates, trends in terms of weekly new cases and deaths among others.

They also shared their detailed roadmaps and action plans for the next one month.

Granularities in terms of split of RT-PCR and Rapid Antigen tests conducted in the state, re-testing percentages of symptomatic negatives from antigen tests, testing lab utilization, hospitalization status and bed occupancies of oxygen-supported beds, ICU beds and ventilator among others were also presented at the review meeting, the ministry said.



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