States told to adopt calibrated approach while easing Covid-19 restrictions
Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan raised concerns over violations of Covid-19 protocol across the country, and asked the states to focus on a 5-fold strategy.
Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote to the states and Union territories on Thursday stressing the need for 'test, treat, track and vaccination' and adherance to Covid-19 appropriate in their effort to check the spread of the virus.
Bhushan's letter comes at a time when states and Union territories have begun easing the restrictions necessiated owing to the rising cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) during the second wave of the pandemic.
The health secretary raised concerns over violations of Covid-19 protocol across the country, esepcially in public transport, hill stations and markets, and warned that these instances can trigger a surge in infections.
He also reiterated the Centre's warning on increase in 'R factor' in some states. "You may be aware that any increase in R factor above 1.0 is an indicator of spread of Covid-19. Therefore, it is important that the authorities concerned shall be made responsible for ensuring Covid-appropriate behaviour in all crowded places....as well as all areas identified as hotspots for transmission of Covid-19 virus," he wrote in his letter.
Calling for focussed public health measures by the states and the Union territories, Bhushan wrote, "It is imperative to adhere to the guiding principles of Covid-19 containment and management with special focus on the 5-fold strategy of Test-Track-Treat-Vaccinate and adherance to Covid-appropriate behaviour."
"Focussed and sustained high levels of testing, relentless contact tracing, comprehensive vaccination and ensuring strict adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour in all crowded places and potential super-spreader events are of essence," he added.
Bhushan told the states and the Union territories to adopt a carefully calibrated approach for relaxing the restrictions. "The second wave of Covid-19 is not yet over. We ought to remember that while the reach of vaccination is increasing considerably, there is no room for complacency," he wrote.