States advised to undertake mock drills to ensure operational readiness of COVID-19 infrastructure

Centre advises States and Union Territories to ramp up testing and vaccination in view of the rise in COVID-19 cases in the country

March 27, 2023 10:19 pm | Updated March 28, 2023 08:02 am IST - NEW DELHI

The Union Health Ministry Ministry noted that several states reported higher weekly positivity rates than the national average of 1.39%, urging governments to ramp up COVID-19 infrastructure. Image for representational purpose only.

The Union Health Ministry Ministry noted that several states reported higher weekly positivity rates than the national average of 1.39%, urging governments to ramp up COVID-19 infrastructure. Image for representational purpose only. | Photo Credit: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

The Union Health Ministry on March 27 directed States and Union Territories to be on alert and ensure preparedness for COVID-19 management, in view of the rise in infections in the country.

The Ministry noted that several States were reporting higher weekly positivity rate than the national average of 1.39%. Himachal Pradesh recorded a positivity rate of 7.48%, followed by Maharashtra (4.58%), Kerala (4.51%), Delhi (4.25%) and Karnataka (3.05%).

Cautioning against being complacent, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, following a meeting on Monday, stressed that testing should with ramped up, with a higher proportion of RT-PCR tests and whole genome sequencing of positive samples. 

The average number of daily cases in the country rose to 966 in the week ending March 23 from 313 in the week ending March 3.

“Additionally, 24 districts in India are reporting more than 10% weekly positivity in the week ending 24th March, 2023, while 43 districts are reporting weekly positivity between 5%-10% in the same time,’’ the Ministry said.

The Ministry said that 22 States and Union Territories were reporting daily tests per million (TPM) that was less than the national average.

Mr. Bhushan also advised the States to undertake mock drills across all health facilities on April 10 and 11 to ensure operational readiness of hospital infrastructure, including oxygen cylinders, PSA plants, ventilators, logistics and human resources.  

V.K. Paul, member (Health), NITI Aayog, highlighted the need for increased vigil due to the prevalence of new variants and the vaccine immunity across the country being currently at a modest level.

He urged the States to increase preparedness, including higher levels of RT-PCR tests, and called for increasing the coverage of COVID-19 vaccine precaution dose among the population.

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