New Delhi: Taking cognizance of a sudden spurt of Covid cases in Japan, US, the Republic of Korea, Brazil and China, the health ministry has directed all states to ensure monitoring and reporting district-wise Influenza-like Illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) cases in all health facilities on a regular basis.
In a letter written to additional chief secretaries, Administrators of all the states and union territories, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said, "Considering the upcoming festive season and New Year celebrations, there was "need" to put in place requisite public health measures and other arrangements to minimize the risk of the increase in transmission of the disease by maintaining and strengthening focus on Test-Track-Treat-Vaccination and adherence to COVID appropriate behaviour." In the last few weeks, COVID-19 cases across the world have registered an upsurge, but India as per the Health Ministery, continues to show a sustained decreasing trajectory of cases since last few months and presently 153 new cases on average are being reported daily across the country.
The ministry has also directed to ensure adequate testing in all districts as per the COVID-19 testing guidelines maintaining the recommended share of RT-PCR and Antigen tests.
"Ensure higher samples for whole genome sequencing amongst positive samples of COVID-19 in the community, so as to enable timely detection of new variants, if any, in the country. To take stock of existing hospital capacities in terms of bed availability, logistic requirements, and the need for re-orientation of healthcare workers in the clinical management of COVID-19 to remain prepared for any surge in cases. This may be tested by conducting "dry runs" in hospitals," the letter read.
It also said that COVID-19 vaccination efforts need to be bolstered by creating community awareness.
"Special focus on increasing the coverage of 'Precaution dose' is required by all States and UTs," it added.
Rajesh Bhushan in the letter also added that with collective efforts, the country would be able to keep the momentum going in this collective fight against the pandemic.
"In terms of preparedness for upcoming festivities, it is essential that all measures are put in place with relevant stakeholders like event organizers, business owners, market associations, etc. to avoid overcrowding, ensure adequate ventilation, especially in indoor settings, wearing of masks in such places where crowds congregate," the letter stated.
Notably, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya also chaired a virtual meeting with the health ministers of the states, Principal Secretaries, Additional Chief Secretaries and Information Commissioners on Friday. (ANI)