Govt tells 11 states to step up efforts to curb Covid, dengue
- The health secretary, Rajesh Bhushan, also asked the states to undertake campaigns to inform people about the helplines, ways to control the mosquito population, and symptoms of dengue.
The Union health secretary has asked 11 states reporting a more dangerous type of dengue to take steps to ensure early detection of cases, start fever helplines and stock adequate testing kits, larvicides, and medicines.
There are four serotypes of the virus that causes the mosquito-borne disease dengue; DENV-2 is associated with more severe disease that can lead to fatal internal bleeding and shock. During a review of the Covid-19 situation, the states were asked to implement control measures during the festive season, monitor infections in children as schools reopen as well as breakthrough infections.
For dengue, the states were asked to deploy rapid response teams to promptly investigate new cases and undertake measures such as a survey of persons with fever in the area, contact tracing, control of mosquito population in the area, etc. They have also been asked to stock enough blood and blood components such as platelets needed for patients with severe dengue.
The health secretary, Rajesh Bhushan, also asked the states to undertake campaigns to inform people about the helplines, ways to control the mosquito population, and symptoms of dengue.
Several states have reported a spike in the number of dengue cases, which causes fever, headache, pain behind the eye, body ache, and vomiting in most patients.
The states reporting serotype - II dengue cases are Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana.
In a small proportion of patients it can lead to internal bleeding, a dip in the blood component platelet, and shock (inadequate blood to organs resulting in damage to tissues.)
The issue was discussed during a meeting held by the cabinet secretary Rajesh Gauba on Covid-19 response and progress of vaccination. India administered 25 million shots of Covid-19 vaccine on Friday. Referring to other countries that have reported several peaks of Covid-19 cases, he said pockets reporting high positivity rate were a cause of concern.
The health secretary said that there were 70 districts across 15 states that were reporting over 5% positivity rate – proportion of samples that return positive. Of these, 34 districts have reported a positivity rate of over 10%.
All states were also asked to enforce Covid-19 appropriate behaviour during the upcoming festival season. The states were asked to ensure “necessary precautions and effective enforcement for avoidance of mass gathering and congested closed spaces. Existing guidelines regarding malls, local markets, and places of worship are to be strictly followed,” a release from the Union health ministry said.
In addition to implementing containment strategies in places reporting a high number of Covid-19 cases, the states were also asked to increase testing while maintain a high level of RT PCR tests, commission pressure swing adsorption oxygen plants, oxygen cylinders, concentrators and ventilators.
The states were also asked to monitor infections in children as schools re-open, breakthrough infections in vaccinated persons, and any mutations in the virus. The states were asked to accelerate the pace of vaccination.
Central government officials on Friday said that Serum Institute of India will supply 200 million doses of its Covishield vaccine and Bharat Biotech will supply 35 million doses of Covaxin in September.