Centre reviews states with high Covid-19 case fatality, suggests plan
Cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba on Thursday urged 10 states and Union Territories (UTs) that have reported nearly 89% of Covid-19 deaths in the last two weeks to proactively limit the transmission of the virus and keep the mortality rate below 1%.
Chief secretaries and health secretaries of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, Gujarat, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir attended the meeting. The Union health secretary, DG ICMR and member (health), and NITI Aayog also participated in the virtual meeting.
As the country’s coronavirus toll has climbed above 60,000, the Centre asked these states to ramp up testing and contact tracing to bring down their case fatality rate to less than 1%.
The review meeting called to discuss the preparedness to deal with the pandemic focused on ways to strengthen approach and strategies relating to testing, contact tracing, surveillance, containment, home isolation, availability of ambulances, hospital beds, oxygen, treatment protocols, etc.
The States/UT were advised to proactively take steps towards reducing case fatality in all districts by focussing on the following measures:
1. Effective containment, contact tracing and surveillance
2. Ensuring that at least in 80 % of new positive cases, all close contacts should be traced and tested with 72 hours
3. Ensuring a minimum of 140 tests per million per day in all districts while targeting a positivity/confirmation rate of less than 5%
4. Leveraging Antigen tests in containment zones / healthcare settings & retesting of all symptomatic negatives with RT-PCR
5. Regular monitoring of home isolation patients (tele-calling and home visits) and ensuring timely admission to healthcare facility if SPO2 level falls below the designated level
6. Putting in public domain the availability of beds and ambulances across Covid-19 facilities while significantly reducing ambulance response time
7. Saving lives by effective clinical management of all cases
8. Monitoring week-wise fatality rates for each health facility with particular focus on vulnerable patients (Comorbid, patients over 60 years’ age)
9. Upgrading Covid-19 dedicated facilities based on case load
10. Monitoring availability and usage of necessary drugs, masks and PPE kits in all facilities
11. Focus on Behavioral Change Communication promoting Covid-19 appropriate behavior consisting of social distancing, wearing of masks, hand hygiene, cough etiquettes etc.