Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan chaired a high-level meeting on Saturday to review the Covid19 situation in 10 states including Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Manipur.

The other states were Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.

The public health measures taken by the health authorities of these states for surveillance, containment and management of Covid19 were also reviewed.

“These states are either reporting a rise in new daily COVID cases or a rise in positivity,” the Union health ministry said in a statement.

Dr Balram Bhargava, DG, ICMR and secretary, DHR was also present in the review meeting.

Principal secretaries to health, Mission Directors (NHM), State Surveillance Officers of all these states participated in the review meeting on Saturday.

Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan underlined several strategies for Covid19 control and management.

As per the strategies, all districts reporting positivity rate over 10% in the last few weeks are required to consider strict restrictions to prevent/curtail movement of people, formation of crowds and intermingling of people to prevent the spread of infection.

“It was forcefully underlined that any laxity at this stage will result in deterioration of the situation in these districts,” the Union health ministry said.

The Union health ministry informed that more than 80% active cases in these states are reported to be in home isolation.

There is a need to effectively and strictly monitor these cases so that they are not intermingling and circulating in their neighborhoods, community, village, mohalla, ward etc. and spreading the infection.

“The people in home isolation should be effectively monitored in such a manner to ensure that those who require hospitalization are seamlessly transferred for timely clinical treatment,” the ministry said.

Detailed SOPs covering various facets of effective clinical management of Covid19 patients in hospitals have been earlier shared with the States for prompt shifting and effective hospital management.

These states should focus on those districts where the positivity rate is less than 10% so as to protect these districts and the populations by focusing on saturation of vaccination in these districts.

The Union health ministry said it provides advance visibility on a fortnightly basis to enable the states to plan their vaccination schedules in an effective manner.

In the last two months, the Union government has been supporting the states by providing oxygen concentrators, oxygen cylinders and PSA plants, the UNion health ministry said.

In addition to this, the states are using their own resources to put up PSA plants in government hospitals.

States were advised to direct private hospitals to put up hospital-based PSA plants.

The states were advised earlier regarding this in the past two months.

Provisions under the Clinical Establishment Act enable states to issue such direction to private hospitals.

For states, which have already issued such directions, they were advised to review the status and facilitate the private hospitals further.

The DG, ICMR warned against any complacency with around 40,000 cases being reported daily since the preceding weeks.

Highlighting the fact that 46 districts are showing more than 10% positivity while another 53 districts are showing a positivity between 5%-10%, the DG, ICMR urged the states to ramp up their testing.

The states were advised to conduct their own state-level sero-surveys for district-wise disease prevalence data, as the national level sero-prevalence survey was heterogeneous in nature, in collaboration with ICMR to ensure the same sturdy protocols of survey.

He advised the states to ramp up vaccination in the 60+ and 45-60 age categories as evidence shows near 80% of the mortality is from these vulnerable age-groups.

Regarding enforcement measures, he advised the State authorities for avoiding all non-essential travel and to discourage all large gatherings of crowds.

The states were advised to undertake intensive containment and active surveillance in clusters reporting higher cases; define containment zones, based on mapping of cases and contacts traced.

The states were also advised to undertake regular reviews and follow-up for implementation of ECRP-II with a focus on augmentation of existing health infrastructure particularly in rural areas and paediatric cases.

“Report death count as per ICMR guidelines,” the Union health secretary advised the states.

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