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Strengthen COVID-19 Surveillance: Union Health Secretary Writes To Eight States Amid ‘Consistent Rise’ In Cases

Union Health Secretary, in his letter, has asked the States to institute prompt and effective public health measures with a key focus on several aspects, ranging from strengthening COVID-19 surveillance in all districts to improving community awareness

Strengthen COVID-19 Surveillance: Union Health Secretary Writes To Eight States Amid 'Consistent Rise' In Cases
Earlier on Wednesday, Dr PK Mishra, the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister chaired a high-level meeting to assess the situation of covid in the country

New Delhi: Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Friday (April 21) wrote a letter to the health secretaries of Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Haryana, and the Government of NCT of Delhi in view of “consistent rise” in COVID 19 cases in the country. In the letter to the eight States, Bhushan said,

India has been witnessing a consistent rise in COVID-19 cases since March 2023, with 10,262 cases reported in the week ending April 20, 2023. A rise in the positivity rate has also been noted across the country, with 5.5 per cent positivity reported in the week ending April 19, against 4.7 per cent positivity reported in the previous week.

Also Read: India Reports Over 11,000 Fresh COVID Cases With Delhi Reporting The Maximum Numbers

Union Health Secretary, in his letter, has asked the States to institute prompt and effective public health measures with a key focus on several aspects, ranging from strengthening COVID-19 surveillance in all districts to improving community awareness.

While ordering the States to strengthen COVID-19 surveillance in all districts, the health secretary has asked the States to do so in accordance with ‘Operational Guidelines for Revised Surveillance Strategy in context of COVID-19’ issued by this Ministry.

Mr. Bhushan also asked the States to maintain adequate levels of testing (especially in emerging hotspots), monitor trends of Influenza-like illness (ILI) and SARI cases, increase the number of COVID-19-positive samples sent for Whole Genomic Sequencing, etc.

The health secretary further said,

The pandemic is still not over, and we must remain cautious against laxity at any level, which may nullify the gains made in pandemic management so far. It is also critical to ensure timely and regular updation of data to assist in accurate monitoring of the situation. It is essential that the State must maintain a strict watch and take pre-emptive action if required in any area of concern to control any emerging spread of infection. Regular monitoring and follow-up action are crucial.

Earlier on Wednesday, Dr PK Mishra, the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister chaired a high-level meeting to assess the situation of covid in the country. The PMO informed in a statement that the focus of the meeting was on the status of preparedness of health infrastructure and logistics, drugs, vaccination campaign in the country and the key necessary steps as a response to the recent surge in Covid cases.

Also Read: Omicron’s New Sub-Variant XBB1.16.1: What Do We Know So Far?

(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 the 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, which 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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