Covid-19 norms flouted in 50 worst districts: Centre

The Centre on Sunday warned the three worst affected states — Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Punjab — that Covid-appropriate behaviour was not being adopted in 50 of their districts, necessitating higher enforcement efforts.

Union well being secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote to those states primarily based on suggestions obtained from central groups despatched final week.

“These teams were to assess the situation on the ground, share their feedback, and work closely with the state authorities in looking for solutions. The health secretary’s letter is based on the feedback received from these teams, and asks them to plug the loopholes,” mentioned a senior official in the well being ministry.

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The central groups discovered a scarcity of enough surveillance measures being taken by the state administrations, particularly in areas declared containment zones, insufficient testing utilizing RT-PCR exams, inadequate manpower on Covid-19 obligation, amongst different issues.

The groups despatched to Maharashtra discovered containment operations sub-optimal, particularly in the Satara, Sangli and Aurangabad districts, with lower than passable perimeter management, a scarcity of energetic surveillance for influenza-like sickness circumstances, principally as a consequence of restricted human resources. The testing capability in many districts akin to Satara, Bhandara, Palghar, Amravati, Jalna and Latur is overwhelmed, ensuing in delays in reporting of outcomes. Also, some districts have a skewed RT-PCR and speedy antigen testing ratio that wants enchancment.

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“According to central government guidelines, at least 70% of the tests being conducted to detect Covid-19 need to be done through RT-PCR. All states will have to comply with this directive as RAT (rapid antigen test) is meant to be used in certain situations such as containment zones where mass testing is required to know the disease spread in a short span of time. It cannot replace RT-PCR testing,” mentioned a well being ministry official, requesting anonymity.

Some districts are reporting a lot of circumstances from outdoors containment zones, for which the Centre suggested states to develop containment areas or to inform new zones in order that enough surveillance measures might be taken.

In Bhandara and Satara districts, a big share of Covid-19 sufferers are beneath residence isolation, which requires rigorous follow-ups to minimise mortality. However, such an intensive follow-up shouldn’t be taking place at the moment.

In Chhattisgarh, the group from Raipur and Jashpur reported a scarcity of perimeter management in containment zones, with no restriction on motion of individuals inside these zones both.

“…Containment zones including micro containment zones need to be strictly implemented. Contact tracing efforts need to be reinforced in Korba. Resistance (even attacks on health care workers) to containment activities and testing was reported by the team from Dhaneli village, Raipur. This needs to be addressed on an urgent basis,” learn Bhushan’s letter.

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Another situation flagged by the professional groups was scarcity of RT-PCR testing amenities in Korba, Durg, and Balod districts, for which the state has been suggested to discover using cellular testing labs.

In Punjab, it was identified that there’s an acute want for adopting enhanced contact tracing measures, particularly in Patiala and Ludhiana.

“Additional manpower must be deployed for contact tracing on a priority basis. Low rates of testing have been reported from Patiala. Also as reported by the team, there is no RT-PCR testing laboratory in Rupnagar. This has been addressed urgently. There is no dedicated Covid hospital in SAS Nagar and Rupnagar districts, and patients are being referred to neighbouring districts or Chandigarh… Teams have also reported issues with procurement of ventilators for proper case management in SAS Nagar. ln Rupnagar, although ventilators are available, these are not being optimally utilised due to shortage of health care workforce, particularly doctors and nurses…,” the group famous.

The Centre suggested the state to make contractual hiring of well being care employees as per its extra requirement. Slow tempo of vaccination among the many aged and people above 45 with comorbidities, particularly in Patiala and Ludhiana, must be addressed on precedence, it mentioned.

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For the dearth of Covid-appropriate behaviour in most of the people, stricter ground-level enforcement of guidelines has been advised.

Experts say the way in which case numbers are rising, it’s crucial to take strict containment measures. “The virus is very much in circulation, and clearly spreading faster than before. What we need to do is take stringent measures in terms of increasing testing, tracking and isolating cases in time so that they don’t spread the disease within the community. There is also a need for enhancing community-level surveillance so that no case is missed, for as long we keep missing cases, the virus will continue to spread,” mentioned Jacob John, former virology head, CMC, Vellore.

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