NEW DELHI: On a day India reported its sharpest single-day rise in COVID-19 cases this year with 62,258 new infections, the Centre advised 12 states and Union Territories driving the surge to significantly increase testing and ensure strict adherence to safety protocols.
At a high-level review meeting he chaired with additional chief secretaries, principal secretaries and secretaries (Health and Family Welfare) of 12 states/UTs and municipal commissioners and collectors of 46 worst-affected districts, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan laid out a five-fold strategy for effective containment and management of the pandemic exponential increase in testing, effective isolation and contact tracing, reinvigoration of healthcare workers, ensuring the public follows protocol and targeted approach to vaccination.
States that participated in the meeting included Maharashtra, Gujarat, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Punjab and Bihar.
Stressing the importance of following COVID-appropriate behaviour and strictly enforcing guidelines, the ministry presented statistics to underline that one infected person could spread the infection to an average of 406 individuals in a 30-day window without restrictions.
The figure could be reduced to just 15 if physical exposure is decreased by 50 per cent and to a further 2.5 (average) if the exposure is decreased by 75 per cent. The Centre asserted that the second wave reflected laxity on part of people in following guidelines and on part of government authorities in virus containment and management strategy at the ground level.