THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Stricter curbs are imminent in the state as the Centre has suggested tough measures to be adopted to restrict travel and prevent crowding and mingling of people in districts with Covid Test Positivity Rate (TPR) above 10%. A directive to this effect was issued in the wake of a meeting chaired by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan to assess the Covid situation in the country’s 10 worst Covid-hit states, including Kerala.
Following the meeting, the Centre has issued as detailed set of guidelines for Covid management. The Union Health Secretary directed state authorities to ensure that all unnecessary travel should be avoided and to discourage all types of gatherings that involve a large number of people.
Worst-hit states have been urged to complete vaccination in districts with TPR of above 10% and also focus on other districts as well. The Centre also directed the states to effectively plan their vaccination schedules and assured sufficient supply of vaccines.
The Union Health Secretary also asked states to step up Covid testing and to conduct state-level sero-prevalence survey. This would enable collection of district-level sero-prevalence data. The worst-hit states should also direct private hospitals to set up oxygen plants by invoking provisions of the Clinical Establishment Act.
The Centre also directed states including Kerala to step up vaccination for people above the age of 45 as 80% of the Covid deaths are reported from people in this age group. Since 80% of the Covid cases in these states are under home isolation, strict monitoring of such people should be carried out, the Centre directed.
For managing Covid cases in hospitals, a detailed Standard Operating Procedure has already been issued to the states. States have also been directed to subject travellers from abroad to tests in labs under the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium network so that new strains of viruses can be easily identified. The Centre has also taken stock of Covid vaccination coverage in worst-hit states.
Enforce strict control and surveillance in clusters that report a large number of cases
Decide containment zones on the basis of route map and contact tracing of Covid patients
Take steps to increase health infrastructure in rural areas especially to handle paediatric cases
Report Covid deaths on the basis of guidelines issued by Indian Council of Medical Research