COVID-19 testing
COVID-19 testing
File photo

With massive surge in Punjab and Chandigarh's COVID-19 cases, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan and Member of NITI Aayog Dr V. K. Paul chaired high level meeting to review covid status in Punjab and Chandigarh and dicussed about public health measures that should be taken to curb the spread of virus.

Punjab has nearly reported 21% week-on-week increase in the cases and it has also seen 30% week-on-week increase in deaths. Similarly, Chandigarh has also seen a 27% spike week-on-week increase in covid cases. Dr. V. K Paul re-emphasized on stringent rules and continued measures to break the transmission of the virus. The officials said to focues on RT-PCR tests, effective contract tracing with at-least 25 to 30 close contacts of positive cases. They also said to intensify vaccination drive and follow social distancing rigorously.

The meeting also emphaised on strengthning public and private hospital infrastructure.

On the testing grounds, it was discussed to effectively implement 'Test, Track and Treat' till the positivity rate comes down below 5%. It said to increase testing in all districts with a minimum of 70% RT-PCR tests and use of Rapid Antigen Tests as screening tests in densely populated places.

Regarding the vaccination drive, it said to prioritise eligible age groups in districts reporting higher cases. To optimise the usage, it said to transfer unused vaccine doses from one district to another. It warned of not sedimenting vaccine at any level of cold storage.

While for containment and survelliance in the state and union territory, it was told to refocus on effective house to house surveliance to identify active cases with focus on testing, tracing and treatment policy.

Covid-19 claimed 56 more lives in Punjab in the last 24 years, pushing the death toll due to the disease till Wednesday to 6,868 in the state which also registered 2,452 fresh infections, taking the count to 2,39,734.

The number of active cases rose from 23,731 on Tuesday to 23,832 on Wednesday, a medical bulletin issued by the Punjab government said.

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