In a high profile virtual meeting on Friday that went on for three hours, Center has relayed six main pointers to the nine states with highest number of positive Covid-19 cases and are still experiencing daily spikes. The included states are Bihar, Telangana, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Assam and Uttar Pradesh.
Center told the surging states during virtual meeting that the key pointers to be followed during pandemic include rigorous implementation of lessons learned during Covid-19 pandemic, containment in a systematic manner, adequate planning and procurement of essentials to bridge the gaps in health infrastructure and framework.
Meeting through the virtual link was chaired by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba. The attendees included chief secretaries of the nine states, Union Health Ministry senior officials, and experts from the Covid-19 National Task Force.
Cabinet Secretary Mr. Gauba addressed the meeting and said that into six months of handling the pandemic in country, understanding of containment strategies, infection surveillance, breaking chain of transmission, and reducing the mortality rates is achieved well.
He said, “Now it is not an issue of lack of understanding of basic concepts. The issue now is of effective implementation or the lack thereof.” Mr. Gauba added that Chief secretaries of states must “proactively address the issue of implementation glitches” that can lead to rapid worsening of the situation.
The nine states in context have been implementing “sporadic lockdowns or localized lockdowns”. Center emphasized on importance to “implement systematic containment and effective surveillance”, which is to be followed by “strengthening the hospital infrastructure and clinical management”. Sources reveal that Center is believed to have said to states “We are not judging those decisions but a two-three day lockdown alone is not the solution.”
Center has also told the states that as there will be continuous rise in cases, there can be massive exhaustion of medical services and fatigue among healthcare professionals. A well-planned strategic planning and policy of constant rotation of workforce must be in place, Center said. A plan of calling in of alternative resources is also to be considered by states, like final year MBBS students, retired doctors and nursing graduates.
Rigorous planning has also been asked of states by Center considering the gaps in healthcare system. Consumables like oxygen cylinders, testing kits and medicines must be planned ahead in regard to their availability.
Center told the states, “Delay in procurement decisions can have grave consequences from the point of view of management of the pandemic. Chief secretaries must ensure that as far as essential medical supplies are concerned there is no delay in procurement decisions.”
Center has also asked the states to have a “regular mechanism to ensure a prompt and effective communication with the public”.
India has been recording a constant rise in positive cases of novel coronavirus, but the recovery rate is over 62% according to Health Ministry, with gradual decline in mortality rate. But constant rise in positivity rate is definitely a matter of concern.
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