How to tackle the COVID-19 surge? Centre issues advisory to states

The Central government has advised states and Union Territories (UTs) to take strict actions in well-defined cities, districts to tackle COVID-19
How to tackle the COVID-19 surge? Centre issues advisory to states
A medical staff takes a nasal swab for a Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) test amidst rising Covid-19 coronavirus casesImage source: AFP

New Delhi: The Central government has advised states and Union Territories (UTs) to take strict actions in well-defined cities, districts and areas with more than 10 per cent test positivity or 60 per cent bed occupancy.

The Centre said that prompt and targeted action needs to be focused on specific areas in order to flatten the current curve of the pandemic which may be identified by States as per the parameter -- where test positivity is of 10 per cent or more in the last one week or bed occupancy is of more than 60 per cent on either oxygen supported or ICU beds. The Centre's advisory said, districts fulfilling any one of the above two criteria are to be considered for taking intensive action and local containment measures.

· Centre said that the local containment will essentially focus on three strategic areas of intervention, which include Containment, Clinical Management and Community Engagement.

· Districts will continue with the strategy of 'Test-Track-Treat-Vaccinate and implementation of Covid Appropriate Behaviour across the district as the ongoing strategy for the management of COVID-19.

· Centre advised that analysis to be undertaken with respect to requirement of health infrastructure so as to manage the present and projected cases (next one month) and necessary action initiated to ensure sufficient oxygen-supported beds, ICU beds, ventilators, ambulances including creation of makeshift hospitals, as needed. Sufficient quarantine facilities shall also be re-activated.

· The centre pointed out that on account of a very high number of daily new COVID cases being reported for the past few days, the Union Government has expressed the urgent need for States to consider strict COVID management and control measures in surge areas to bring the situation under control.

· The Centre said that the areas so identified for intensive action and local containment will primarily focus on the strategic intervention. "Focus will be on containment as a major approach to flatten the current curve of the epidemic. Movement of individuals shall be strictly prohibited during night hours, except for essential activities. Local administration shall decide the duration of the night curfew hours and issue orders," The Centre's advisory said.

· Social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious, festival related and other gathering and congregations shall be prohibited.

The Centre further advised that the spread of the infection has to be controlled through restricting the intermingling amongst people, the only known host for the COVID-19 virus.

With 3,52,991 fresh COVID-19 cases and 2,812 deaths on Sunday, India saw a new record high as a deadly second wave continues to hit the country. This is fifth consecutive day that over 3 lakh cases have been reported by India. Nearly 10 lakh cases have been registered in the last 72 hours.

The fresh toll takes the country's caseload to 1.73 crore while 1.95 lakh people have lost their lives so far after contracting the novel virus. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the second wave of COVID-19 has "shaken the country". India's top priority right now is to fight COVID-19 outbreak, the Prime Minister stated in his monthly radio address ‘Mann ki Baat’.

14 DAYS LOCKDOWN IN KARNATAKA

After the Karnataka cabinet meeting on Monday, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa declared lockdown around the state from April 27 at 9 pm till May 9. According to Yediyurappa, the essentials shop will remain functional from 6 am to 10 am every day. No public transport will be available.

Since the COVID-19 cases are on the surge in Karnataka and in the same capacity in the capital city Bengaluru, few members of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) which held a meeting on April 24 in had advised the government for a two-week-long lockdown. Following their recommendation, the government has decided on the lockdown for two weeks.

(With agency inputs)

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