New Delhi: The Central government on Saturday convened a high-level meeting on the emerging challenge of Serotype-2 dengue cases in 11 states. Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba chaired a high-level meet with representatives of states/UTs to also review and discussed the COVID-19 management and response strategy through video conference.
As per an official release by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Union Health Secretary highlighted the emerging challenge of serotype-II dengue in 11 states which is associated with more cases and more complications than other forms of the disease.
He suggested the states undertake steps like early detection of cases, operationalisation of fever helplines; adequate stocking of testing kits, larvicides and medicines; deployment of rapid response teams for prompt investigation and necessary public health action like fever survey, contact tracing, vector control; alerting blood banks for maintaining adequate stocks of blood and blood components, especially platelets, among other things.
States were also requested to undertake information, education and communication campaigns regarding helplines, methods of vector control, source reduction at homes and symptoms of dengue.
The States reporting serotype - II dengue cases are Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, MP, UP, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana. Earlier, the health ministry had issued an advisory to these states in August and on September 10.
On COVID-19 management, the Health Secretary directed 15 states to ensure necessary precautions and effective enforcement.
The Health Secretary brought to the notice of the States/UTs that 70 districts in 15 states are a cause of concern as 34 of these districts have positivity exceeding 10 per cent and in 36 districts, the positivity is in the range of 5 per cent-10 per cent, the release said.
In view of the forthcoming festival season, states were directed to ensure all necessary precautions and effective enforcement for the avoidance of mass gathering and congested closed spaces.
"Existing guidelines regarding malls, local markets, and places of worship are to be strictly followed. States were urged to undertake effective IEC for promotion of COVID Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) and COVID safe festivities. They were advised to closely monitor the case trajectories in all districts on a daily basis to identify early warning signals and ensure the imposition of restrictions and adherence to CAB," it stated.
The Center has also asked states /UTs to monitor infection spread in children "considering that few states have opened schools and also monitor mutations including sufficient samples for genome sequencing."
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan; Dr V K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog; along with Chief Secretaries of states, Additional Chief Secretaries (Health), Principal Secretaries (Health), Municipal Commissioners, District Collectors and other Senior officials of States and UTs also attended the meeting.