States told to adopt calibrated approach while easing Covid-19 restrictions

Published on Jul 15, 2021 10:28 PM IST

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.

A cyclist passes by a wall mural depicting frontline Covid-19 coronavirus workers, in New Delhi. (File photo / AFP)
A cyclist passes by a wall mural depicting frontline Covid-19 coronavirus workers, in New Delhi. (File photo / AFP)
By | Written by Avik Roy, New Delhi

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.

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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.

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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.

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