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Coronavirus | Health Ministry asks States for district-level plans

Healthcare workers conduct temperature screening test at V.K. Wadi, Dharavi during a nationwide lockdown to control the spread of coronavirus pandemic, on June 8, 2020.

Healthcare workers conduct temperature screening test at V.K. Wadi, Dharavi during a nationwide lockdown to control the spread of coronavirus pandemic, on June 8, 2020.   | Photo Credit: Vijay Bate

Officials, healthcare personnel of 38 districts hold meeting

Union Health Ministry, on Monday, directed States to make district-wise prospective plans for the coming months to tackle COVID-19.

Health Secretary Preeti Sudan along with senior Health Ministry officials held a review with district collectors, municipal commissioners, chief medical officers, superintendent of district hospitals and principals of medical colleges from 45 municipalities/municipal corporations across 38 districts in 10 States, that are witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases.

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Districts officials from Maharashtra, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh participated in the discussion.

“Main issues discussed included widespread infection in densely populated urban areas, with areas that shared public amenities; importance of house-to-house surveys; prompt testing followed by prompt isolation and clinical management of cases and containment strategy to be implemented,” a release issued by the Ministry said.

Also read: Health Ministry drafts rules to help COVID-19 patients access new drugs

Health Minister has directed State officials to initiate measures in containment zones for case management and buffer zones surveillance activities and promotion of COVID appropriate behaviour.

“To reduce the case fatality rate, the officials were briefed on measures to be taken like prioritising the high-risk and vulnerable segments like elderly people and people with co-morbidities while contact-tracing to prevent deaths; active surveillance measures, adequate testing and promoting health seeking behaviour for timely detection of cases; ensuring timely shifting of patients without escalating the symptoms,” said a senior health official.

He added that States have been also advised that adequate planning for health infrastructure should be taken up; adequate number of surveillance teams must be provided and a system should be put in place for bed availability management.

Also read: Coronavirus | Health Ministry issues new guidelines for workplaces

The Health Ministry has said areas that need constant attention included active house-to-house survey for timely detection, augmentation of the survey teams, efficient ambulance management, efficient triaging of patients at the hospitals and bed management and clinical management of the hospitalised cases.

Dismissing claims that wearing a mask leads to carbon dioxide retention, as far as lung capacity is concerned, All India Institute of Medical Sciences director Randeep Guleria said with a mask even pre-symptomatic persons may be saved from spreading the infection.

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Printable version | Jul 14, 2020 7:10:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-health-ministry-asks-states-for-district-level-plans/article31780053.ece

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