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Updated on: Thursday, December 09, 2021, 06:14 PM IST

Omicron variant: Ensure adequate stock of drugs used for Covid clinical treatment, Union Health Secretary tells states and UTs

A medic collects sample from a passenger for COVID-19 test, at KSRTC bus stand in Bengaluru, Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021. | Shailendra Bhojak

A medic collects sample from a passenger for COVID-19 test, at KSRTC bus stand in Bengaluru, Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021. | Shailendra Bhojak

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Union Health Secretary on Thursday reviewed public health response to COVID-19 in light of the emergence of Omicron variant and progress of vaccination with states and union territories.

During the meeting, health secretary Rajesh Bhushan urged the states to ensure to maintain adequate buffer stock for 8 critical drugs identified in clinical treatment for COVID-19.

"States were informed that many ventilators supplied by the Centre are still lying unpacked and unused at some field hospitals, with consumables not being procured and made available by the states. "This needs to be reviewed immediately to ensure that all PSA oxygen plants, Oxygen concentrators and ventilators are installed and are functioning," a health ministry statement said.

The five-fold strategy of test-track-treat-vaccinate-adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour was highlighted as the mainstay of public health response strategy for effective and timely control and management of COVID-19 and its variants.

States and Union territories were told to enhance testing and focus on surveillance to ensure early identification of suspected cases for their prompt isolation and further clinical management. They were advised to ensure the availability of RT-PCR testing in all districts, the statement said.

Close monitoring of emerging hotspots/clusters, breakthrough and re-infection cases, and prompt investigation was discussed. It was re-emphasised that all contacts for positive patients are to be traced and tested according to protocol as quickly as possible, the statement said.

Keeping the winter season in mind, they were advised that the prevalence of influenza-like illness, severe acute respiratory infection and respiratory distress symptoms need to be closely monitored, the statement said.

Meanwhile, With 9,419 more people testing positive for Covid in a day, India's infection tally rose to 3,46,66,241, while the active cases increased to 94,742, according to the Union Health Ministry's data updated on Thursday.

The death toll climbed to 4,74,111 after 159 fresh fatalities were reported, the data updated at 8 am showed. The daily rise in new coronavirus infections has been recorded below 10,000 for 13 straight days and less than 50,000 for 165 consecutive days now.

(With agency inputs)

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Published on: Thursday, December 09, 2021, 04:30 PM IST
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