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Centre asks four states to strengthen efforts to combat coronavirus

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New Delhi, July 18: With the number of coronavirus cases rapidly increasing in Bihar, West Bengal, Assam and Odisha, the Union health ministry has asked these states to make more efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 and keep case fatality rate below one per cent.

Lav Agarwal

With these states imposing lockdowns, the health ministry said the restrictions should be utilised to focus on containment, surveillance and testing in containment and buffer zones as the key strategy for early detection of cases and fatality management.

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In a letter to Principal Secretaries (Health) and Secretary (Health) of these states, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Health Lav Agarwal asked them to ensure that at least 80 per cent of the new cases have their close contacts traced and are in quarantine within 72 hours.

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    The letter also said the containment and buffer zones should be suitably delineated based on the mapping of cases and contacts, and a list of NCC volunteers along with other workforce is available on Covid warriors portal which can be optimally utilised in containment and surveillance effort.

    In the letter to the states, it said, "In terms of testing the state should aim to achieve a minimum of 14 tests per one lakh (140 tests per million) per day, while ensuring a positivity rate of less than 10 per cent."

    The Centre has also decided to place multi-disciplinary team to Bihar to review and coordinate with the state in managing the pandemic there.

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