Amid a massive spike in the COVID-19 cases in India, the Union Health Ministry today laid actions to be taken at the district level in the wake of the rising covid situation. Secretary of the health ministry, Rajesh Bhushan wrote to Chief Secretaries and Administrators of all states/UTs to follow the actions to curb the spread of virus.
In a notice issued to the officials, the secretary wrote individual actions such as proper wearing of masks, maintaining social distance, covering nose and mouth and sanitising should be followed compulsorily.
Individuals suspected to be positive should be quarantined immediatly, while close contacts of positive persons (atleast 25-30) people shpuld be tested. In areas where clusters of COVID-19 cases are found should be declared conatinment zones and stringent controls must be implemented.
Implementation of 'Testing, Tracking and Treatment' should be followed intensively as it remains the only option to avoid the spread of virus.
Further it said to make District Action Plan which will involve mapping of cases, reviewing sub area (urban and rural) wise indicators like case positivity rate, fatality rate, rate of groth of cases, etc. Besides an emergency Operations Center should be opened with a team to monitor the indicators.
In compliance with the SOPs for cotainment zones earlier issued by Ministry of Health should be strictly followed.
Apart from that, proper COVID-19 behavior must be ensured using Police Act or powers under DM Act as applicable.
The secretary also have told the officials to focus on mortality rate. It has said to find out hospitals and localities where deaths are reported in large numbers.
While addressing a press conference today, "In most states, people are not being properly isolated. Their close contacts must be traced within three days. Close contact does not just the family but all those an infected person came in contact with," Bhushan said. He said the states have been advised to strengthen their healthcare resources.
"Those hospitals which were made non-COVID facilities must be converted to dedicated COVID facilities. There should be no delay in strengthening private as well as public health facilities," he said. They have also been asked to enforce COVID-appropriate behaviour, Bhushan said while asserting that in districts where the surge in cases have been observed, "saturation coverage" of vaccination for age-specific priority groups must be done.