Centre To States: Test, Track, Treat To Curb Covid-19

As the Covid-19 cases in the country continue to rise exponentially, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan has written to the states stating that the implementation of the ‘Test, Track and Treat’ effectively is the only mechanism to control the spread of the deadly virus.

Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan in a letter addressed to the Chief Secretary of all the states and Union territories said, “…efficient implementation of “Test Track and Treat” remains the only proven strategy for control of the transmission. Each district, irrespective of whether it is seeing a surge right now, or is with a current low burden, should make a District Action Plan with clear timelines and responsibilities.”
Bhushan’s letter further elaborated that the said action plan shall include – Mapping of cases, reviewing sub-area wise indicators, reviewing the geographical spread of the infection on a day to day basis and setting up of Emergency Operations Centre.

Apart from the Action plan, the Health Secretary suggested that Individual actions such as the proper wearing of masks covering nose and mouth, maintaining a distance of 6 feet from others, and sanitizing one’s hands frequently shall be checked and enforced.

It added that Public Health measures to contain the virus by quarantining and testing individuals suspected to be positive including close contacts of positive persons (at least 25 to 30 such contacts per positive person) shall be done in every state.

In the letter, Bhushan said, “After having successfully brought down the number of new COVID-19 cases from mid-September 2020 to February 2021, India is now witnessing a rapid rise in cases. You have been leading the effort of COVID Pandemic management with your teams so far. The current rise in cases is of concern and has the potential of overwhelming health care systems, unless checked right now.”

He added that many districts in the country are seeing clusters of cases emerging because of specific events and/or places where crowding happens, or where a large number of people are in close physical contact coupled with a lack of COVID appropriate behaviour.

“Some districts that saw a high number of cases in August-November are again seeing a high growth rate of cases. In addition, a number of new districts that saw a limited prevalence earlier, are worrying, showing a surge in COVID cases,” the letter said.

“States, UTs and Districts that have current low levels of cases, however, cannot be complacent. Lack of COVID appropriate behaviours and laxity in public health effort can lead to sudden surges. If immediate, proactive and focused action is taken by your teams right now, it will be possible to ensure that the infection does not spread into currently low prevalence districts,” the Health Secretary’s letter said. (ANI)

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