Covid third wave: Ramp up health infra to avoid any lapses, Centre tells 5 states, 1 UT


All states must review the strengthening of health infrastructure, establish tele-consultation hubs in every district and focus on raising awareness on available services, health minister Mansukh Mandaviya instructed on Monday at a pandemic review meeting with five states and a Union Territory, as Covid-19 cases spiraled across India.

“Let there be no lapses in our preparedness as we battle this surge of the pandemic. Holistic synergy between the Centre and the states is most vital for seamless and effective pandemic management,” Mandaviya said.

The health minister virtually interacted with the state health ministers, principal secretaries, additional chief secretaries, and information commissioners of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Goa, Dadra and Nagra Haveli, and Daman and Diu.

The granular status and analysis of Covid-19 in these states included the trajectory of total and new cases, active cases, weekly and daily positivity, weekly tests conducted with proportion of RT-PCR and rapid antigen testing, deaths, cases per million, tests per million, and Omicron case status.

There was also discussion on various aspects of Covid-19 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 public.

Reiterating that the Centre was dedicated to supporting states in containing the spread of the third wave, Mandaviya said the federal government has provided support under the second phase of the emergency Covid response package to strengthen health infrastructure across the country.

He urged the states to make robust preparation in terms of physical infrastructure, and efficiently utilize the approved funds under the package.

For real time, data-driven analysis and information-based decisions in the fight against Covid, the states and Union territories were requested to speedily update data on the monitoring portals. “This would help in planning and assessing preparedness at several levels,” the minister said.

The states must review buffer stocks of essential medicines and ensure shortages were replenished through timely purchase orders, he said.

The Centre also asked the states to increase vaccination of all eligible population, especially in low vaccination coverage areas and districts, as it has been established globally that vaccination against Covid-19 resulted in low hospitalisation and severity.

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