Test, track and treat: Centre lists out seven-step strategy to deal with COVID-19 spike

Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan has written to the states stating that the implementation of the 'Test, Track and Treat' is the only mechanism to control COVID
Test, track and treat: Centre lists out seven-step strategy to deal with COVID-19 spike
A health worker takes a swab sample from passengers arriving at a railway station in MumbaiImage source: Sujit Jaiswal / AFP

New Delhi: Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Tuesday wrote to Chief Secretaries of all states and Union Territories looking for an action at the district levels to battle the novel coronavirus.

In the letter, he said that many districts are witnessing clusters of cases rising because of specific events and or places where crowding happens or where large number of people are in close physical contact, coupled with lack of COVID-appropriate behaviour.

· Giving the states and UTs seven pointers for action at the district level, Bhushan asked those with a high-case load and fast growth of cases to ensure 100 per cent saturation vaccination of the priority age group of 45 year and above, in the coming two weeks.

· States have also been asked to focus on mortality reduction and inspect case fatality rate and its growth, identify localities and hospitals where deaths are high and analyse deaths to understand whether they were due to late detection or surveillance failure.

· He also sought enforcement of COVID-19 appropriate behaviour using the Police Act, or powers under the Disaster Management Act. "Besides, elected representatives, local influencers, celebrities, religious leaders and more should be roped in to ensure COVID appropriate behaviour," he requested.

· The another strategy includes, ‘Test, Track and Treat’. Bhushan said that it remains the only proven strategy for control of transmission.

· Districts should make an action plan with clear timelines and responsibilities and including mapping of cases, reviewing sub area wise indicators like case positivity rate, rate of growth of cases, case fatality, doubling rate of cases on a real time basis.

· The action plan must also review the geographical spread of infection day on day, identify possible source or sources and an Emergency Operations Centre with a team to monitor the indicators.

· Proper wearing of masks covering nose and mouth, maintaining six feet distance from others and sanitising one's hands frequently must be ensured.

India recorded 56,211 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours taking the total tally to 1,20,95,855 on Tuesday. Six states -- Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat -- continue to report a surge in daily new cases.

This is the second peak. India had fought the first six months ago, recording a highest single-day spike of 93,617 cases on September 16 and the highest number of deaths (1,169) on September 15.

(With inputs from IANS)

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