As many as 27 districts have registered a surge in the Covid-19 positivity rate in the past two weeks and are being monitored closely, the Central government told the states, adding that the country is critically placed in its fight against the pandemic.
“With the recent trend of sustained and overall decline in Covid-19 cases in the country, we are critically placed in our fight against the pandemic. Eight districts in three states have been reporting more than 10 per cent positivity rates in the past two weeks. As many as 19 districts in seven states and union territories (UTs) have been reporting positivity rates between 5 per cent and 10 per cent in the past two weeks. Thus, these 27 districts need to be monitored closely,” Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote in his letter to the states.
The letter informed that a framework based on the test positivity rate or bed occupancy rate (test positivity rate more than or equal to 10 per cent or more than 60 per cent bed occupancy on either oxygen supported or ICU beds) was provided to the states.
“It is imperative for all states and UTs to maintain a strict watch on the situation with focused district level measures for containment of clusters of new positive cases as per guidelines. In case of any district reporting a surge in Covid cases or rise in the positivity rates, intensive action and local containment as per the containment framework must be initiated,” the letter said.
The strategic containment interventions in identified areas with test positivity rate of more than or equal to 10 per cent or more than 60 per bed occupancy on either oxygen supported or ICU beds include night curfews, restricting the intermingling of people, prohibition of congregations, curtailment of attendees in marriages and funerals and last rites, etc.
Testing and surveillance interventions include ramping up testing and active case search, testing of all influenza-like illness and severe acute respiratory infection cases through rapid antigen tests and re-testing by RT-PCR of symptomatic rapid antigen negative tests. Strict adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour at all places and times must be rigorously enforced and aggressively monitored.
Adequate advance information to the community highlighting the need for stringent containment actions to achieve community involvement and support are also mandated in the framework issued by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the letter added.