Vikash Sharma

Amidst the upsurge in Covid cases, the Centre on Thursday urged States to follow the standard protocol, test-track-treat-vaccinate and adherence to COVID appropriate behaviour as it continues to remain the tested strategy for the management of the pandemic.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan chaired a high-level meeting today to review the preparedness status of the entire spectrum of management of the COVID-19 pandemic in view of the upsurge in cases, with States and Union Territories through a video conferencing.

The Centre cautioned States/UTs against any complacency and stressed on ramping up testing with higher proportion of RT-PCR, and whole genome sequencing of positive samples.

As per the PIB report, Rajesh Bhushan advised States to undertake mock drills across all health facilities on April 10 and 11, 2023 to ensure operational readiness of Hospital Infrastructure, including Oxygen Cylinders, PSA plants, ventilators, logistics and human resources.

Union Health Secretary said that irrespective of the new COVID variants, ‘Test-Track-Treat-Vaccinate and Adherence to COVID Appropriate Behaviour’ continue to remain the tested strategy for COVID management.

It is pertinent to mention here that weekly positivity in Maharashtra has gone up to 4.58% as on March 24, 2023 from 0.54% in the week ending March 3, 2023. In Gujarat, it has increased to 2.17% from 0.07%. In Kerala, weekly positivity shot up to 4.51% from 1.47%. Karnataka witnessed average weekly positivity rise up to 3.05% from 1.65% while Delhi has seen weekly positivity rise to 4.25% from 0.53%.

About 22 States/UTs are reporting average daily TPM less than the national average. It was also pointed out that 24 districts in India are reporting more than 10% weekly positivity in the week ending March 24, 2023, while 43 districts are reporting weekly positivity between 5-10% in the same time period, the report added.