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Coronavirus | PM flags need for more testing, tracing in 10 affected States

Narendra Modi. File

Narendra Modi. File  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the fatality rate from COVID-19 in India has to be pushed below 1%. He stressed that 10 States which account for 81% of the cases and 82% of the fatalities need to step up testing, contact tracing within 72 hours of testing and isolation of those infected.

Mr. Modi’s observations came during his closing remarks at a video conference with the Chief Ministers of 10 States — West Bengal, Gujarat, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Punjab — with high COVID-19 levels.

Coronavirus | PM flags need for more testing, tracing in 10 affected States
 

 

“A view has emerged that if we manage to defeat coronavirus in the 10 States that account for over 80% of our cases and 82% of our fatalities, India will win the war against the disease,” Mr. Modi said. “We need to follow the new mantra — to step up testing, contact tracing of all those who have come into contact with anyone diagnosed as positive for COVID-19 within 72 hours of diagnosis and isolation of such patients.”

“It has emerged from our discussions that there is an urgent need to ramp up testing in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat and West Bengal,” he added.

“Experts now say that if we identify COVID-19 cases within 72 hours, the rate of infection slows down greatly. Our experience so far is that containment, contact tracing and surveillance are the most effective weapons against COVID-19,” he said.

Appeal for funds

The Chief Ministers of the 10 States gave details of the measures taken by their governments in combating the disease, but almost all of them said more funds from the Central government were required as their coffers were empty because of the loss of economic activity and concomitant revenue.

Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh asked that the current cap of 35% on COVID-19 related expenditure on State Disaster Relief Fund be lifted as it was not sufficient to meet current requirements.

Capt. Singh also requested that looking at the rising number of cases in the State, the University Grants Commission’s (UGC) decision to hold mandatory exams for exit classes by September 30 be reviewed.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E.K. Palaniswami said his State required more ventilators and at least ₹1,000 crore more from the NDRF for its fight against COVID-19.

 

The Prime Minister also lauded Union Home Minister Amit Shah for his intervention to handle the situation in the National Capital Region of Delhi-Haryana-Uttar Pradesh as the situation began worsening in Delhi and surrounding districts in the other two States.

“A new committee was set up and they did very pointed interventions, along the lines mentioned earlier and have managed to bring the situation under control,” Mr. Modi said.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2020 1:55:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-pm-flags-need-for-more-testing-tracing-in-10-affected-states/article32323750.ece

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