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Assam, Bihar, Bengal, K'taka among 9 states asked to ramp up COVID testing, strictly implement containment plan

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New Delhi, July 24: The Centre on Friday advised nine states including Assam, Bihar, Telangana and Odisha to ramp up testing with special focus on containment zones, strictly implement containment plan, augment health infrastructure and ensure effective clinical management of COVID-19 cases.

Assam, Bihar, Bengal, Ktaka among 9 states asked to ramp up COVID testing, strictly implement containment plan
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As part of the coordinated strategy for effective containment and management of the COVID-19 pandemic, a high-level virtual review meeting was chaired by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba with the chief secretaries and health secretaries of these states that are driving the present spurt of the active caseload in the country, the health ministry said.

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The other states that participated in the virtual conference were Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.

A graded, proactive, progressive and well coordinated strategy of COVID-19 management between the Centre and states and union territories has resulted in ever-increasing recoveries in the country, with progressively falling case fatality rate, the ministry said.

There are, however, some states which have in the recent past shown high rise in daily number of active cases and are emerging as concern areas from COVID management point of view, it underlined. The cabinet secretary had a detailed review on the state-specific COVID response strategy with the health secretaries and other state officials as well as on the factors that were leading to rising case-load in these states in recent times.

In keeping with the 'Test Track Treat' strategy, the states were advised to ramp up the testing with special focus on containment zones. "Areas of concern with respect to low testing in certain states was highlighted. It was reiterated that sustained and aggressive testing is crucial for early identification of cases and to prevent spread of infection," the ministry said in a statement.

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Gauba stressed the need for prompt and proper delineation of containment zones as per the guidelines of Ministry of Health, intensive contact tracing and house-to-house active case search within the containment zones so as to effectively break the chain of transmission. Buffer zones to be identified outside the containment zones and continued surveillance of SARI/ILI cases needs to be undertaken, the ministry said.

The states were advised to have a clear focus on health infrastructure availability including requisite number of beds, oxygen and ventilators with implementation of clinical protocols ensuring the prescribed quality of care and seamless patient management.

"Effective ambulance management with zero refusal rate was also highlighted in the review meeting. Cabinet Secretary also emphasized the imperative of keeping the fatality rates low. For this, mapping of high-risk population must be done, particularly the elderly and aged people and those with co-morbidities. The attention of the states was drawn to the fact that early detection and timely clinical management is the key to contain the spread of COVID-19," the statement said.

According to the updated data at 8 am, Andhra Pradesh (72711 cases and 884 deaths), Bihar (31,980 cases and 217 deaths), Telangana (50,826 cases and 447 deaths), Odisha (21,099 cases and 114 deaths), West Bengal (51,757 cases and 1255 deaths), Assam (28,791 cases and 70 deaths), Karnataka (80,863 cases and 1,616 deaths), Jharkhand (6,975 cases and 67 deaths ) and Uttar Pradesh (58,104 cases and 1,289 deaths).

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