The States That Are in Focus
A high-level virtual review meeting was chaired by Cabinet Secretary with the Chief Secretaries and Health Secretaries of the nine States where the case load is high. Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Telangana, Odisha, West Bengal, Assam, Karnataka, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh are the states in focus.
Test, Track, Treat: States were asked to follow this method in the first place to ensure early detection of positive cases and thereby containing the spread. Ramping up testing in containment zones was emphasised, and states that are testing low were specially asked to speed up.
Management of Containment Zones: The need for prompt and proper delineation of containment zones as per the guidelines of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is stressed upon by the Centre. It relies on two activities. The first is intensive contact tracing and house-to-house active case search within the Containment Zones. Second, all the respiratory related cases in the buffer zone attached to the containment zone also need to be extensively checked to know the extent of the spread.
Hospital Management: First, the States need to ensure the availability of hospitals including requisite number of beds, oxygen and ventilators across the State. Then, there should be clinical protocols in place to ensure prescribed quality of care and seamless patient management. Effective ambulance management with zero refusal rate was also highlighted in the review meeting.
Keeping the Fatality Rate Low: To what extent that the government becomes able to save the lives turns out to be the ultimate measure of success in dealing with the pandemic. To keep the fatality rate low, states were asked to effectively conduct mapping of high-risk population, particularly the elderly and aged people and those with co-morbidities.