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Suryakant Jena

Bhubaneswar/New Delhi: Taking stern cognizance of a significant rise in the cases of SARS-nCoV infections across the country, the Union Government on Tuesday directed the authorities of all the States/UTs to ramp up fightback operations at the district level on an urgency basis.

In a letter to the chief secretaries of all States/UTs, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhusan has highlighted specific district-level strategies with proactive and focused action to contain the cluster outbreaks of Corona cases in some districts from overflowing into other regions.

The government has said that "Test Track and Treat" remains the only proven strategy for control of the transmission.

Individual-level action:

Proper wearing of masks covering nose & mouth, maintaining a distance of 6 feet from others. and sanitizing one's hands frequently

Public Health measures:

  • Quarantining and testing individuals suspected to be positive including close contacts of positive persons (atleast 25 to 30 such contacts per positive person). Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) cases and fever cases and ensuring that they are not physically mobile and thus not able to spread the infection
  • Isolating all those who are positive, tracing their contacts, quarantining and testing them
  • Where there are clusters of cases. simply quarantining individuals or families will not help. In that case, larger containment zones with clear boundaries and stringent controls must be implemented.

All districts asked to prepare a District Action Plan with clear timelines and responsibilities. Some of the elements of the plan are delineated below.

Mapping of cases:

  • This is a dynamic exercise and will be based on surveillance activities and focused testing in areas
    Reviewing sub area [urban and rural) wise indicators like case positivity rate, rate of growth of cases, case fatality, doubling rate of cases: on a real time basis.
  • RT-PCR test proportion must be more than 70% as this impacts on positivity rate
Setting up an Emergency Operations Center with a team to monitor the indicators, their growth, and spread 24x7 should be set up. The District Magistrate should review this twice a day and firm up a strategy for action
  • Following the principles of the Incident Command System, set up dedicated. cross discipline and area-specific teams for Formation of Containment Zones (CZ) in compliance with the SOPs for Containment Zones issued by MoHFW.
  • Manuals for surveillance teams are available on the website of MoHFW and all surveillance teams should be trained and retrained again by translating the manuals in the regional language.
Containment Zones should be dynamic and the district should take into account the evolving situation and clustering of cases and review on a daily basis.
All districts with high caseload and fast growth of cases must ensure 100% saturation vaccination of the priority age group of 45 year and above, in the coming two weeks.

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