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Srinagar: The Union Health Ministry on Thursday made a detailed presentation on the current status of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) in which it was observed that out of the total deaths in the country in the last two weeks, 89 per cent of the fatalities were reported from nine states and one Union Territory (UT).

The presentation was made by the Union Health Secretary during the meeting held by the Cabinet Secretary with the Chief Secretaries and Health Secretaries of nine states — Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, Gujarat, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, and the UT — Jammu and Kashmir.

All the states as well as the UT were directed to maintain a rigorous vigil so as to contain the spread of infection as well as take steps to reduce fatalities.

They were also asked to pro-actively take steps towards reducing case fatalities to less than 1 per cent across all districts by focusing on effective containment, contact tracing and surveillance, ensuring that at least in 80 per cent new positive cases, all close contacts should be traced and tested within 72 hours.

A direction was also given to them to ensure a minimum of 140 tests per million per day, leveraging antigen tests in containment zones and healthcare settings and re-testing of all symptomatic negatives with RT-PCR.

Regular monitoring of home isolation patients by tele-calling and home visits and ensuring timely admission to healthcare facilities if SPO2 level falls below the designated level has also been advised.

The states have been asked to put in public domain the availability of beds and ambulances across Covid-19 facilities while significantly reducing ambulance response time and monitoring week-wise fatality rates for each health facility with particular focus on vulnerable patients.

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