Make robust preparation of physical infra, use ECRP-II funds efficiently, states told

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Monday reviewed the situation and the status of public health preparedness for containment and management of Covid in the six states and UTs.

“Let there be no lapses in our preparedness as we battle this surge of the pandemic. Holistic synergy between Centre and states is most vital for seamless and effective pandemic management,” he said, while virtually interacting with his state counterparts and senior officials of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Goa, and the UT of Dadra & Nagra Haveli and Daman & Diu.

Reiterating that the Centre is dedicated to supporting states in containing the pandemic, Mandaviya said that it has provided support under ECRP-II for strengthening the health infrastructure across the country and urged the states to make robust preparation in terms of physical infrastructure and efficiently utilise the approved funds.

The status and analysis of Covid in the six States/UT was made by the Health Ministry officials covering the trajectory of total and new cases, active cases, weekly and daily positivity, weekly tests conducted with proportion of RT-PCR and RAT testing, deaths, Cases per Million (CPM), Tests per Million (TPM) and Omicron case status. This was followed by a comprehensive and detailed discussion on various aspects of Covid management including effective implementation of surveillance and containment activities, ramping up of hospital infrastructure, increased testing, enforcement of stringent restrictive measures for breaking the chain of transmission, and stress on Covid Appropriate Behaviour among the masses.

The Union Minister advised the states to increase vaccination of all eligible population, especially in low vaccination coverage areas, and districts, stressing that vaccination against Covid results in low hospitalisation and severity, as is seen globally. He emphasised on administration of ‘precaution dose’ for the identified categories and urged the states to ensure full coverage of the vulnerable population. He also requested them to expedite full coverage of the eligible age group of 15-18 years at the earliest.

Mandaviya said that irrespective of the variants, ‘Test-Track-Treat-Vaccinate’ and adherence to Covid appropriate behaviour continue to form the pivotal foundation for Covid management. He urged the states to re-invigorate their teams to work at the ground level and strengthen monitoring and containment mechanisms. States were advised to hold regular meetings with regional officers of theICMR, the NCDC, Airport Public Health Officers (APHOs) and the State Surveillance Officers.

He highlighted the importance of tele-consultation through platforms such as eSanjeevani and advised the states to establish tele-consultation hubs in every district. “They should work round the clock such that those who seek expert advice do not have to travel to the district but can be advised at the block levels, through a hub and spoke model.

“It is important that people know about the available health infrastructure and healthcare services available at various levels starting from the block level, such as hospital beds, testing facilities, ambulance services etc. States need to publicise their availability in public domain through various means and also establish Control Rooms to monitor them.”

The easy availability of information in public domain will result in avoiding clogging of beds by patients due to panic, he added.

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