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Intense action, local containment measures: Centre issues fresh guidelines to states to contain rising Covid cases

By | Written by Meenakshi Ray, New Delhi
Apr 25, 2021 11:41 PM IST

Prompt and targeted action needs to be focused on specific areas in order to flatten the current curve of the coronavirus pandemic, which may be identified by states, the Centre said.

The Centre on Sunday pointed out to the urgent need for states to consider strict management and control measures in areas reporting a massive surge in the cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) “to bring the situation under control to contain the spread of infection”. The focus, it said, should be on containment, clinical management, community engagement and vaccination. The existing infrastructure may not be able to cope with this kind of surge, it stressed.

BMC health workers are seen marking quarantine stamp on travelers from Kerala to Mumbai amid rising Covid-19 cases. (Satish Bate/HT Photo)

“Prompt and targeted action needs to be focused on specific districts/cities/areas in order to flatten the current curve of the epidemic which may be identified by States,” the government said in a statement as it defined the parameters. It said intensive action must be taken in well-defined geographies with more than 10% positivity or 60% bed occupancy and local containment must be imposed for 14 days to break the chain of transmission. “Classification of districts requiring intensive action and local containment is also to be undertaken by the State on a weekly basis and may also be made available online, besides being given due publicity in the media… The local containment will essentially focus on three strategic areas of intervention, which include Containment, Clinical Management and Community Engagement,” it said.

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The Centre also suggested that states, after the identification of areas for intensive and local containment, should appoint nodal officers for 14 days for effective monitoring and implementation in consultation with district collectors and municipal commissioners. “The State Nodal Officer should submit details of all such areas identified for local containment to state government for approval … the District Collector/Municipal Commissioner should undertake a daily status review, including analyzing details of case trajectory, day to day operational planning, implementation of various activities as per the field level feedback.”

The daily status report should be submitted to the state government and a consolidated report may also be sent to the Centre. “If required, all States may also consider a further graded response in accordance with local situation, requirements, and resources,” it said.

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“Focus will be on containment as a major approach to flatten the current curve of the epidemic… Districts will continue with the strategy of 'Test-Track-Treat-Vaccinate and implementation of Covid Appropriate Behavior across the district as the ongoing strategy for the management of COVID-19,” the Centre said. The states must also ensure people wear masks, follow social distancing norms and other guidelines such as sanitising hands frequently and not attending any gatherings. Quarantining and testing individuals suspected to be positive, including contacts of SARS-CoV-2 positive cases among the public health measures to contain the virus. The statement said night curfew should be imposed in containment zones and the local administration will have the power to decide on its duration.

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India recorded 349,691 new Covid-19 cases, the highest single-day spike since the pandemic broke out last year, and 2767 deaths in the last 24 hours, acccording to the Union health ministry on Sunday.

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