The Centre has deputed high-level multidisciplinary teams to Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir for supporting the government in public health measures for effectively tackling the spread of Covid-19.
The three-member multidisciplinary teams are headed by Joint Secretary level officers in the Health Ministry.
The teams are supposed to work closely with the State administrations and ascertain the cause for the recent surge in the number of Covid-19 cases.
In a letter written by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, states of Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir have been asked to focus on undertaking aggressive measures to break the chain of transmission and to ensure that RT-PCR testing is amplified to flush out hitherto undetected cases from the population.
These States/UT have been advised to:
- increase testing in a focused manner in the affected districts with the appropriate split of RT-PCR and Rapid Antigen Tests and to also ensure that all symptomatic negatives of antigen tests are compulsorily tested via RT-PCR tests.
- The positive persons must be promptly isolated/hospitalised, all their close contacts be traced and also tested without delay.
- The Union Health Secretary has also requested the Chief Secretaries of the 10 States to provide time to these high-level central teams to debrief the respective Chief Secretaries at the conclusion of their State visits.
In the last one week, 12 states have reported more than 100 average daily new cases. These are Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Punjab, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Telangana, Delhi and Haryana.
Two States, Kerala and Maharashtra, both report more than 4,000 average daily new cases in the past one week.
The Centre has reminded the States/UTs that any laxity in implementing stringent measures to curb the spread, especially in view of new strains of virus observed in certain countries, could compound the situation.