Cabinet secy asks 8 states showing spike in COVID cases not to lower their guard

at 5:56 pm
Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba (File photo)

New Delhi (NVI): Union Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba today at a meeting with eight states and UTs advised them not to lower their guard and strictly enforce COVID-19 appropriate behaviour, amidst recent surge in the number of coronavirus cases in these states.

The Cabinet Secretary chaired the review meeting through video conference with Chief Secretaries of States and UTs of Maharashtra, Punjab, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Telangana and Jammu and Kashmir.

These States and UTs have been reporting a high active caseload or an increasing trend in new cases in the last week, the Ministry of Health said in a statement.

During the review meeting, the Cabinet Secretary said the states have been advised not to lower their guard, enforce COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and deal firmly with violations.

“They were also asked to strongly follow effective surveillance strategies in respect of potential super spreading events,” he was quoted saying in a statement.

Gauba also stressed upon the need for effective testing, comprehensive tracking, prompt isolation of positive cases and quick quarantine of close contacts.

At meeting, these states were advised to improve the overall testing in districts reporting reduction in testing and increase RT- PCR tests in states and districts having high antigen testing, the ministry said.

They were asked to refocus on surveillance and stringent containment in selected districts reporting reduced tests/high positivity & increased cases and focus on clinical management in districts reporting higher deaths.

The states have also been advised to undertake priority vaccination in districts reporting higher cases, the statement said.

“Also, promote COVID-appropriate behavior ensure effective citizen communication to not let complacency set in, especially in light of vaccination drive entering the next phase and enforcing stringent social distancing measures,” it added.

The six states namely Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat- have shown a surge in new cases in the last 24 hours.

Maharashtra continues to report the highest daily new cases at 8,333, followed by Kerala with 3,671 while Punjab reported 622 new cases in the last 24 hours. While in the last two weeks, Maharashtra has shown the highest rise in active cases from 34,449 on 14th of February to 68,810 currently, the ministry data shows.

Further, the Chief Secretaries also briefed about the current situation in the States and their preparedness to tackle the recent spike of COVID-19 cases, the statement said.

They informed about the enforcement of COVID-19 appropriate behavior by levying heavy fines and challans, reviewing the surveillance and containment activities closely with the District Collectors, and other steps being taken in line with the guidelines provided by MoHFW and MHA, it added.