Health Secretary interacts with five States seeing upsurge in COVID-19 cases
Health Secretary Preeti Sudan and the OSD, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Rajesh Bhushan holding a meeting with the Chief Secretaries of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh through video conference, in New Delhi on May 26, 2020.

Health Secretary interacts with five States seeing upsurge in COVID-19 cases

New Delhi, May 27, 2020

After a sudden upsurge in the number of COVID-19 cases in five states following the return of migrant workers, Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan has directed officials to focus on an effective containment strategy.

The Health Secretary and Rajesh Bhushan, OSD, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare along with senior officers held a high-level review meeting (through video conference) yesterday with the Chief Secretaries, Health Secretaries and NHM Directors of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. These states are witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases since the last three weeks as lockdown rules have been eased and inter-state migration has been allowed.

The States were briefed on the individual case trajectory with respect to the case fatality rate, doubling time, testing per million and confirmation percentage, an official press release said.

Factors that need to be focused on in an effective containment strategy were pointed out such as perimeter control, diligent house to house survey through special surveillance teams, testing, active contact tracing and effective clinical management.

It was also emphasized that each containment zone has to be analysed to check the trends and adopt course correction measures through proper formation and implementation of micro plans. The activities within the Buffer Zone were also reiterated.

It was reiterated that States need to pay focused attention on assessing the existing available health infrastructure in terms of quarantine centres, hospitals with ICU/Ventilator/oxygen beds etc., and to strengthen them looking at the need assessment for the next two months. Use of data emerging from Aarogya Setu was also pointed out to the participating States.

Regarding non-COVID essential health services, States were reminded that immediate measures need to be taken to continue essential health programs for TB, Leprosy, COPD, Non-communicable diseases like hypertension, diabetes, treatment for injuries and trauma due to accidents need to be continued.

It was advised that Mobile Medical Units (MMUs) can be stationed at quarantine centres; temporary sub-health centres could be set up in existing buildings and additional frontline workers like RBSK teams can be utilized.

It was advised the link with Ayushman Bharat – Health and Wellness Centres need to be established so that immediate health check-ups can be arranged. Tele-medicine services could be rolled out from these centres. Temporary sub-health centres could also be operationalised in existing buildings with additional deployment of health workers.

To meet with the surge in incoming migrant workers, ASHAs and ANMs can be given additional incentives. The States were advised to ensure implementation of PPE guidelines with respect to the outreach teams. States were asked to rope in NOGs, SHGs, private hospitals, volunteer groups etc., for augmenting their strength.

The States were advised to pay special attention to vulnerable groups like pregnant women, under 5-years children, elderly, those with co-morbidities and also mobilize the Anganwadi workforce in the districts. It was stressed that nutrition needs to be checked among children under the age of five and recommend them to nutrition rehabilitation centres (NRCs).


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