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Ians

The Centre on Thursday asked the states and Union Territories to maintain adequate buffer stock of the eight critical drugs identified for treatment of new Covid-19 variant Omicron.

The states have been asked to ensure that funds released by Centre under ECRP-II are being utilised for creating and strengthening health infrastructure, and 100 per cent matching funds are promptly released by states to the state health societies.

"As the progress of the funds utilisation at the field level is being reviewed by the Health Ministry, information on progress of funds utilisation needs to be filled in the portal created for the purpose. It needs to be ensured that al health facilities at the field level have functional ventilators, PSA plants, oxygen concentrators etc", said health ministry in a review meeting with states.

Raising the issue of many ventilators supplied by the Centre lying unpacked and unused at some field hospitals, the Centre has asked the states to review immediately and ensure that all PSA oxygen plants, oxygen concentrators and ventilators are installed and functioning.

It has asked the five-fold strategy of Test-Track-Treat-Vaccinate-adherence to Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) to maintain as the mainstay of public health response strategy for effective and timely control and management of Covid and its variants.

The states have also been advised to closely monitor the prevalence of influenza-like illness (ILI)/severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) and respiratory distress symptoms in view of winter season.

Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan in the review meeting on Omicron urged the states and UTs to enhance testing and focus on surveillance to ensure early identification of the suspected cases for their prompt isolation and further clinical management. The districts reporting higher case positivity were alerted to monitor the case trajectory on a regular basis, and to promptly dispatch positive samples to the mapped INSACOG labs for whole genome sequencing.

Underscoring the critical importance of vaccination drive, states were also advised to continue increasing the pace and coverage of Covid-19 nationwide vaccination drive with focus on the ongoing 'Har Ghar Dastak' campaign for ensuring full vaccination of all eligible population.

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