COVID surge: Ramp up testing, Mandaviya to State health ministers

Union Health minister chairs review meeting with state health ministers, says average tests in states are below national average

NEW DELHI | Updated: 07 April, 2023 4:37 pm IST
Union minister Mansukh Mandaviya

With the rise in COVID-19 cases in the country, Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya chairs a meeting with state health ministers on the situation in the country on Friday, April 7.

It was also observed that eight states are reporting a high number of COVID cases in India, with 10 or more districts reporting more than 10 per cent positivity in Kerala, Maharashtra and Delhi.

Over five districts reported more than five per cent positivity in the states of Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Haryana.

In the meeting, it was observed that states and UTs had average tests per million below the national average.

States were also requested to expeditiously increase the rate of testing from the current rate of 100 tests per million, as of the week ending April 7. They were further advised by the Union minister to increase the share of RT-PCR in tests.

“Testing and vaccinations need to be ramped up, along with hospital infrastructure readiness in case more hospitalisation is required at the same time,” Mandaviya said.

“The five-fold strategy of test-track-treat-vaccinate and adherence to COVID-appropriate behaviour continues to remain the policy for COVID management,” the Union minister says.

“The centre and states need to continue working in a collaborative spirit as was done during the previous surges,” he added.

In an important development, the state health ministers were requested to review preparedness with district administration and public health officials on April 8 and 9.

Earlier, The New Indian reported regarding states being asked to conduct mock drills across all health facilities on April 10th and 11th.

All the states and union territories were advised to identify emergency hotspots, which would help the state curb the rise in cases by stopping the spread.

Identification of emerging hotspots, sending up sufficient samples for testing of COVID-19, influenza and ramping up whole genome sequencing of positive samples should also be done.

States and UTs were advised to stay on alert and keep up all the preparations for COVID-19 management.

Globally, 88,503 daily average cases have been reported, with the top five countries contributing 62.6 per cent of global cases in the last week.

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