- State governments advised to continue with their vaccination programmes
- Efforts must be made to consume the vaccine doses received: Home Secretary
- Areas with high positivity rate advised to increase testing
New Delhi: Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla on Thursday (August 26) chaired a meeting through video conferencing to review the steps taken by the state governments of Kerala and Maharashtra for checking the spread of COVID-19. During the meeting, the overall management of the COVID-19 situation in Kerala and Maharashtra was discussed. “The Union Home Secretary reviewed the efforts being made by the state governments to contain the spread of infections and observed that more efforts would be required to arrest the increase in infections,” said a statement issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Mr Bhalla suggested that the state governments should explore the possibility of placing night curfew in areas of high positivity. The state governments were advised that they should continue with their vaccination programmes and in case they required more vaccines, the same would be provided to the extent possible. However, efforts must be made to consume the vaccine doses received. It was also emphasized that along with vaccination COVID appropriate behaviour must also continue to be encouraged and events with potential of having mass gatherings during the coming festive season must be avoided.
It was also advised that testing must be ramped up in areas in the two states where positivity rates are being found to be on the higher side. Focus should also be placed over the next few months to suppress the levels of transmission of the virus so that the chain of transmission can be controlled more effectively.
The meeting was attended by NITI Aayog Member (Health) Dr VK Paul, the Secretary of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the National Centre for Communicable Disease (NCDC) Director and the Chief Secretaries and Directors General of Police of Kerala and Maharashtra.
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NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. 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 become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.