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Central teams to assist Pb, Chandigarh in strengthening containment measures, testing to reduce COVID-19 deaths

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New Delhi, Sep 6: The Union Health Ministry has decided to deploy central teams in Punjab and Chandigarh to assist them in strengthening public health measures for containment, surveillance, testing and efficient clinical management of COVID patients with an aim to reduce the mortality rate.

Central teams to assist Pb, Chandigarh in strengthening containment measures, testing to reduce COVID-19 deaths

Punjab's COVID-19 tally is 61,527, while it has 15,870 active cases as on date. The state has registered 1,808 deaths. "The testing per million figure for the state is 37,546 (India's average figure is 34593.1 at present). With 4.97 per cent, it hovers at the lower spectrum of cumulative positivity," the ministry said.

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The UT of Chandigarh has 2,140 active cases, while its cumulative cases stand at 5,502. Testing per million and cumulative positivity rate stand at 38,054 and 11.99 per cent, respectively. "The high-level teams will assist the state and the UT in strengthening public health measures for containment, surveillance, testing and efficient clinical management of COVID patients with the aim to reduce mortality and save lives," the ministry said.

"They shall also guide them in effectively addressing the challenges related to timely diagnosis and follow up," it said. The two-member teams will comprise a community medicine expert from PGIMER, Chandigarh and an epidemiologist from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). These teams shall be stationed in Punjab and Chandigarh for 10 days to provide extended guidance in managing coronavirus infection.

The Centre is actively supporting the states and UTs that are seeing a sudden surge in the number of cases and those that are reporting high mortality by deputing multi-sectoral central teams. Many such teams have visited several states and UTs in the past few months. The teams interact with the field authorities to get a first-hand understanding of the challenges and issues being faced by them.

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The Union Health Ministry has been engaging with several states and UTs that are witnessing a surge in COVID cases and high mortality in some districts during the past two days. Those states and UTs have been advised to proactively undertake comprehensive measures to break the chain of transmission of the infectious disease and lower mortality, such that it eventually dips below one per cent, the ministry said.

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