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Need To Be Vigilant Even Though COVID-19 Cases Reducing: Union Health Minister To Eastern States

Odisha, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and West Bengal were among the states that participated in the interaction on COVID-19 with health minister Mansukh Mandaviya

Need To Be Vigilant Even Though COVID-19 Cases Reducing Union Health Minister To Eastern States
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya urged the states to monitor COVID-19 positivity rate on a daily basis
Highlights
  • Health Minister asked states to increase the RT-PCR testing rate
  • States advised to keep a watch on the number of hospitalisations and deaths
  • Minister suggested having teleconsultation hubs in every district hospital

New Delhi: There is still a need to be vigilant and not lower the guard even though the active cases of COVID-19 in most of the states and the positivity rate have shown a fall in the last two weeks, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said in an interaction with five eastern states on Saturday (January 29). State health ministers, principal secretaries/ additional chief secretaries and information commissioners of Odisha, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and West Bengal participated in the meeting, according to an official release.

Also Read: COVID-19 Explained: 10 Things We Know About BA.2 Sub-Variant Of Omicron

Mr Mandaviya urged them to monitor the case positivity rate on a daily basis and increase the RT-PCR testing rate as most of the states exhibited a lower share of such tests.

While the active cases in most of the states and the positivity rate have shown a fall in the last two weeks, we still need to be vigilant and not lower our guard, he stated.

The states were also advised to keep a close watch on the number of hospitalisations and deaths.

It is important to analyse at the state level the proportion of vaccinated and unvaccinated of the hospitalised cases, the deaths and those on ventilators and oxygen support, he advised them.

Mr Mandaviya said that irrespective of the COVID variants, ‘test-track-treat-vaccinate and adherence to COVID appropriate behaviour’ continue to remain the tested strategy for COVID-19 management.

He reiterated his advice for all states to fully and effectively utilise the ECRP-II funds for strengthening the existing healthcare infrastructure and create new as per requirement.

Also Read: India’s Omicron Wave May Intensify In Coming Weeks, Say Experts

As the located funds under ECRP-II shall lapse on March 31, 2022, states were requested to review the progress on a regular basis, as this healthcare infrastructure will not only be utilised during the present pandemic, but will serve the people in the future too.

He reminded them to complete installation and commissioning of the PSA plants, LMO storage tanks and MGPS expeditiously.

Noting that vaccination is a critical tool for pandemic management, Mandaviya advised the states to accelerate vaccination of all eligible populations, especially of the 15-17 age group and those whose second dose is due.

Highlighting the importance of teleconsultation through platforms such as eSanjeevani, he suggested establishing teleconsultation hubs in every district hospital.

Also Read: COVID-19 And Omicron: About Time You Break Up With A Cloth Mask? Here’s What Experts Have To Say

He also mooted ramping up the creation of Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centers (AB-HWCs) at the earliest as it will help the masses and enable healthcare access to the remote areas of the country. These can be used not only during the ongoing pandemic but also for non-COVID healthcare, he said.

There was a comprehensive and detailed discussion on various aspects of COVID management including ramping up of hospital infrastructure; increased testing, stress on COVID-appropriate behaviour and stringent restrictive measures for breaking the chain of transmission.

The states shared their best practices at the review meeting.

Jharkhand informed about collecting data of migrant workers for vaccination. Chhattisgarh mentioned that a proper analysis of vaccinated and non-vaccinated people who tested positive is being made, while Bihar highlighted their initiative of doorstep delivery of medicines to COVID-19 positive patients in home isolation through Speed Post.

Also Read: Dangerous To Assume Omicron Will Be The Last Variant; We Can End The Acute Phase Of COVID-19 This Year: WHO Chief

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity,  that is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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