Centre asks States to enforce Covid appropriate behaviour, focus on vaccination

New Delhi: The Centre on Tuesday suggested to all States and Union Territories, action plan at the district level to contain the rise in Covid-19 cases.

In a letter to all the Chief Secretaries, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan pointed out that many districts are seeing clusters of cases emerging because of specific events and places where crowding happens or where large number of people are in close physical contact coupled with lack of Covid appropriate behaviour.

Talking about strategies to be adopted at the district level, Mr Bhushan underlined the importance of individual actions like proper wearing of masks, maintaining social distance and sanitizing one’s hands and public health measures of isolating those found positive, tracing their contacts and marking containment zones.

He said that it was important to focus on mortality reduction by identifying localities and hospitals where deaths are high.

“All districts with high case load and fast growth of cases must ensure 100 per cent saturation vaccination of the priority age group of 45 years and above, in the coming two weeks,’ the Union Health Secretary said.

“Trends show the virus is still very active and enter our defences, just when we think we can control it, it sparks back,” VK Paul, the Chairman of National Expert Committee on Vaccine Administration said at a media briefing. He denied that the mutated strains have a role to play in this surge.

He said that States are being asked to enforce Covid-appropriate behaviour, including the use of masks. More than 56,000 fresh cases were reported on Tuesday morning, taking the country’s active caseload to nearly 5.5 lakh.

“Punjab is neither doing adequate number of tests, nor is isolating infected people properly. Maharashtra has 3.37 lakh active cases. Death has increased from 32 in Feb to 118 now. Karnataka needs to improve testing and isolation,” Mr Paul said.

Delhi, taken as one district, is among top 10 COVID-19 high-burden districts. Eight such districts are from Maharashtra, he said.

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