‘No room for complacency in Covid management’

New Delhi:- Emphasising the need to strictly enforce Covid-19 appropriate behaviour, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba directed all the states and authorities on Saturday not to leave any room for complacency.

Gauba held a high-level meeting to review and discuss the Covid-19 management and response strategy.

Drawing on examples from foreign countries that reported multiple Covid peak, the cabinet secretary expressed concern over certain pockets in the country that are reporting high test positivity and advised the state health administrators to undertake granular analysis of their Covid-19 trajectory, ramp up their health infrastructure, undertake stocking of essential medicine and augment human resources at the earliest, to meet any potential surge in cases, an official communique stated.

Gauba highlighted that about 70 districts in 15 states are cause of concern as 34 of these districts are recording a positivity rate of over 10 per cent and 36 districts in the range of 5-10 per cent.

According to the statement, in the view of the upcoming festival season, states have been directed to ensure all necessary precautions and effective enforcement for avoidance of mass gathering and congested closed spaces along with strict adherence to the existing guidelines regarding malls, local markets, and places of worship.

“They were advised to closely monitor the case trajectories in all districts on a daily basis to identify early warning signals and ensure imposition of restrictions and adherence to CAB,” the statement read.

Along with sticking to the five-fold Covid Containment Strategy (Test, Treat, Track, Vaccinate, CAB adherence) to control the spread of virus, it was noted that urgent action on augmentation of hospital infrastructure, oxygen availability, building up buffer stocks of critical drugs, ambulance services and implementation of IT systems, helplines, telemedicine services is required.

Health Secretary stated that funds have been released to all states and union territories under emergency Covid response package which should be promptly and optimally utilised.

Moreover, chief secretaries were urged to conduct a district-level review and ensure that adequate medical infrastructure and supplies commensurate with the projected requirements are urgently mobilised.

Private sector capacities may also be duly inventoried and deployed based on the emerging requirements, the statement added.

The meeting was virtually held in the presence of Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary and Dr V.K. Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog along with chief secretaries, additional chief secretaries (Health), principal secretaries (Health), municipal commissioners, district collectors and other senior officials of state and union territories across India.