New Delhi (NVI): The Central Government today reviewed the Covid status with all the States and Union Territories, saying that the situation in 11 States/UTs across the country is a matter of “serious concern” as these states are witnessing an increasing number of positive daily cases.
The situation is particularly worrying in Maharashtra, Punjab and Chhattisgarh.
The observations came after Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba chaired a high-level review meeting with Chief Secretaries, DG Police and Health Secretaries of all States/UTs.
The review meeting focused on 11 States/UTs that have been reporting “very high” rise in daily cases and daily mortality because of COVID-19 in the last two weeks, according to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Chandigarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Haryana have been categorised as “States of grave concern” on account of their high and rising daily case and higher daily deaths.
Taking note of the present situation due to the continuous deterioration of the COVID scenario over the fortnight, the Cabinet Secretary pointed out that the current COVID case growth rate of 6.8% in March 2021 has surpassed the previous record of 5.5% (June 2020), the Ministry said.
The country also reported 5.5% growth rate in daily COVID deaths in this period. While the country was reporting about 97,000 daily new COVID cases at the peak of the pandemic in September 2020, the country has now reached the critical figure 81,000 daily new cases of COVID, the Cabinet Secretary noted.
“11 States/UTs were categorised as “States of grave concern” on account of their high and rising daily case and higher daily deaths. These have contributed 90% of COVID cases (as on 31st March) and 90.5% of deaths (as on 31st March) in last 14 days, and have crossed/or close to crossing their early reported peaks during last year,” the Ministry said in a statement.
During the meeting, it was pointed out the situation was particularly worrying in Maharashtra. These States and UTs were advised to take up immediate and high effective measures to ensure containment of active cases and daily deaths through adherence of the standard Clinical Management Protocol shared earlier with all States and UTs.
Another worrisome aspect pointed out was that Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities along with peri-urban areas have recorded the recent high ruses in COVID cases; the spread of infection from these areas to the rural areas with weak health infrastructure would overwhelm the local administration was also highlighted, as per the Health Ministry.
After detailed and comprehensive review of the measures taken by the States/UTs, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba reiterated the necessity of meticulous and hard work regarding stringent enforcement of containment and surveillance measures, in conjunction with ramping up vaccination and strict enforcement of COVID Appropriate Behaviour.
It was emphasised that vaccination if only one of the tool, so the surge in cases can be contained by enhanced testing, strict containment, prompt contact tracing and enforcement of COVID appropriate behaviour.
The meeting to review and discuss the COVID management and response strategy was attended by the Chief Secretaries, DGPs, and senior health professionals of all States/UTs along with the Member (Health) NITI Aayog, Union Home Secretary, Union Health Secretary, Union Secretary (I&B), DG ICMR, and Director of NCDC.