States with spike in deaths told to ramp up testing

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Published on Aug 27, 2020 11:32 PM IST
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By, New Delhi

Nine states and one Union territory (UT), which account for 89% of the fatalities in the last two weeks, have been told by cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba to ramp up testing and tracing to increase the efficacy of tackling the Covid-19 pandemic.

Gauba, along with the Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan, held a videoconference with the chief secretaries and health secretaries of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, Gujarat, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir on Wednesday to assess the situation in the states.

According to the press information bureau, these states and the UT account for 89% of the deaths in the last two weeks.

“Union health secretary made a detailed presentation on the current status of COVID-19 in these states/UT, with a focus on districts reporting high case fatality and the need to refine as well as strengthen approach and strategies relating to testing, contact tracing, surveillance, containment, home isolation, availability of ambulances, hospital beds, oxygen, treatment protocols,” said a statement issued by the press information bureau.

The cabinet secretary told the states and UT to ensure that at least in 80% of the new cases, all close contacts are traced and tested within 72 hours.

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