SRINAGAR: In the backdrop of the recent surge in COVID related deaths, the Cabinet Secretary, Rajiv Gauba, while chairing a high-level meeting, asked all the States and Union Territories to dedicatedly work on the testing and early hospitalization of COVID patients, besides, undertaking a robust containment/red zone surveillance strategy to ensure that the case fatality in each State/UT remains below 1%.
Chief Secretary, B V R Subrahmanyam along with Chief Secretaries of various States including Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal participated in the meeting.
While reviewing the public health response to COVID-19, Cabinet Secretary informed that currently 10 States/ UTs are having approximately 70% active cases with subsequent 83% COVID related deaths. He laid emphasis on the need to proactively identify the critical cases and provide prompt medical intervention to check this trend.
The Cabinet Secretary reiterated the need for an effective containment strategy and adequate testing facilities for early detection of COVID cases so as to minimise its spread in the community. “This can be further reinforced by perimeter control, active house to house surveillance, contact tracing and timely testing”, he added.
Speaking on the measures to be undertaken to lower ‘Case Fertility Rate’ below 1%, Cabinet Secretary emphasised on tracing and testing all close contacts of new positive cases with 72 hours of detection, in addition to regularly monitoring the patients under home isolation through tele-calling and home visits. He maintained that testing capacities can be augmented by using Rapid Antigen Tests in containment zones and healthcare institutions.
Efforts of the Government of Jammu and Kashmir to contain COVID spread were applauded as the UT has steadily maintained Positivity Rate of 3.8%, much lower than the national average of 8.60%, with Case Fertility Rate of 1.89%, which is roughly close to national average of 1.84%.
The Chief Secretary, J&K, informed that strategic efforts are in place to ensure hospitalisation of vulnerable patients especially children, old aged and patients with co-morbidity to further lower the fatality rate of 1.9%. Moreover, end-to-end case management comprising surveillance, testing, treatment, referrals including transition through ambulance is also being strengthened through better coordination of the concerned agencies.
He said that COVID trajectory is being closely monitored with special focus on spread of infection through travellers, primary and secondary contacts, especially after resumption of religious pilgrimage. “J&K is still conducting universal testing of all visitors travelling by air, road and railways”, he added.