Strengthen containment measures: Centre to State amid rise in COVID-19 cases

Mumbai: A day after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray asked the administration to be vigilant and urged people to observe restraint for next two months, the Union Health Ministry on Sunday has underscored the need to suppress, curb and eventually break the chain of transmission of the infectious disease in Maharashtra by strengthening the active case search focusing on the comorbid and elderly population, revisiting and strengthening the containment measures in the affected areas and scaling up the testing to decrease the positivity rates below 5%. This is important as of the 36 districts, there has been a spurt in cases in 17 districts – Pune, Nagpur, Thane, Mumbai, Mumbai Suburban, Kolhapur, Sangli, Nashik, Ahmednagar, Raigad, Jalgaon, Solapur, Satara, Palghar, Aurangabad, Dhule and Nanded.

The health ministry has asked the state government to limit the spread of the infection by implementing stringent containment measures and following social distancing measures, strict perimeter control and active house-to-house case search, early identification by ramping up testing across the districts, optional utilization of RT-PCR testing capacity and effective monitoring of home isolation cases and early hospitalization in case of disease progression. The health ministry’s advisory is important when the progressive Covid-19 cases have crossed 8.83 lakh, active patients 2.20 lakh and deaths 26,000.

The Public Health Department official said the health ministry reviewed the Covid 19 pandemic situation in 35 districts of which 17 were from Maharashtra. ‘’The state health secretary presented the present status of the pandemic in these districts and the steps being taken to combat the virus. He informed the government’s move to launch a door-to-door campaign 'My Family My Responsibility' from September 15 to detect Covid-19 patients and their contacts. The thrust will be on tracing and tracking,’’ he noted.

He said the health ministry has called for seamless hospitalization and early admission for patients requiring medical support, especially in cases of co-morbid and elderly population. The ministry also expects the state to follow effective infection control measures in hospitals to safeguard healthcare workers from contracting the infection. ‘’The ministry has also suggested that the District Collectors and other functionaries prepare and update district-specific plans to continue their efforts to manage the pandemic with the same rigour,’’ said the officer.

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