The Centre on Saturday advised union territories to ramp-up efforts to contain the COVID-19 spread by sticking to the rules for prevention of the disease as well as following standard operating procedures (SOPs) in its treatment, a government statement said.
The directions were issued on Saturday during a review meeting, where Home Affairs and Health secretaries Ajay Bhalla and Rajesh Bhushan took stock of the measures undertaken by the union territories to contain the coronavirus spread, it said.
The meeting was attended by Union Territories of Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, through video conferencing in which senior central government officers were also present.
"The Union home secretary as well as secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, asked senior officers of all the UTs to ensure that the administrative officers, medical professionals, para-medical staff and other people associated with containing the spread of COVID-19 and management of the COVID-19 situation work in close tandem," the statement said.
The Centre advised the UTs to improve testing facilities, surveillance for early detection of COVID-19 cases, contact tracing and house-to-house surveillance by medical staff. It asked the UTs to better their monitoring of home isolation cases, strict enforcement of regulations in containment zones and their demarcation, the statement said.
The secretaries advised the UTs to augment health infrastructure in accordance with the projected number of COVID-19 cases by increasing hospital beds, ventilators, ICU beds, ambulances, it said. It was also suggested to improve public awareness about prevention, hygiene and ensure enforcement of precautionary measures like maintaining social distancing, sanitisation, wearing of masks, the statement added.