Ten states are seeing an upsurge in Covid cases, the government said today, stressing on the need of strict restrictions in districts witnessing a positivity rate of more than 10 per cent. Apart from focusing on strict containment measures, states were also told today to “ramp up vaccination in the 60+ and 45-60 age categories as evidence shows near 80 per cent of the mortality is from these vulnerable age-group.” The centre’s fresh review comes amid concern over a third Covid wave.
Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Andhra Pradesh and Manipur are the states that are either witnessing a surge in new Covid cases or a rise in positivity rate, the Union Health Ministry said in a statement.
With 46 districts recording more than 10 per cent positivity rate, and 53 districts recording a positivity rate between 5-10 per cent, states have been told to ramp up testing. “Any laxity at this stage will result in deterioration of the situation in these districts,” the centre has warned.
The measures were discussed at a review meet held by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan that was also attended by the Indian Council of Medical Research’s Director General Dr Balram Bhargava, besides top health officials from the states.
“All districts reporting positivity rate of more than 10 per cent in the last few weeks need to consider strict restrictions to prevent or curtail the movement of people, formation of crowds and intermingling of people to prevent the spread of infection,” an official statement read.
While 80 per cent of the new patients reported by these states are under home-isolation, local authorities have to make sure that they strictly monitor such cases to break the chain of transmission, the government said.
“The people in home isolation should be effectively monitored in such a manner to ensure that those who require hospitalisation are seamlessly transferred for timely clinical treatment. Detailed SOPs covering various facets of effective clinical management of COVID-19 patients in hospitals have been earlier shared with the states for prompt shifting and effective hospital management,” a statement by the Health Ministry read.
To screen the entry of new variants in India, the states have been asked to use the INSACOG (Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium) laboratory network for genomic surveillance and monitor international travellers.
After India saw a massive shortage of medical oxygen at the peak of the second wave, the states have been reminded today to ask private hospitals to set up PSA (Pressure swing adsorption) oxygen generation plants.