In a statement today, the union health ministry said sixty-three districts in the eight states and union territories “continue to be of concern”.
In a reminder to the states that are witnessing a high active caseload, the centre today said the effective strategy of “test, track and treat” has yielded results at the height of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Eight states that have been told to increase testing, contact tracing and accelerate vaccination for priority groups in the worst-hit districts include Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and union territories of Delhi and Chandigarh.
In a statement today, the union health ministry said sixty-three districts in the eight states and union territories “continue to be of concern as these districts are seeing a decrease in total tests being conducted, low share of RT-PCR tests, increase in weekly positivity and low number of contact tracing of the COVID positive cases”.
“These together can pose high risk of transmission to the neighboring states and union territories,” the Health Ministry said.
Amongst the districts identified by the government, nine districts are in Delhi, 15 are in Haryana, 10 in Andhra Pradesh, 10 in Odisha, nine in Himachal Pradesh, seven in Uttarakhand, two in Goa, and one in Chandigarh.
In a suggested action plan that also stresses on improved overall testing and active monitoring of “super-spreader events”, the government has said that an average close contact tracing “of minimum of 20 persons per positive case,” should be conducted.
As Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan and Dr Vinod K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, held a meeting with health secretaries of the states, the states were told: “Make optimal use of the available vaccine doses and focus on critical districts, and collaborate with the private hospitals to open up vaccination time-table for a minimum of 15 days and maximum of 28 days at a time.”
High -level teams have also been rushed to Punjab and Maharashtra, where there’s a steep rise in the number of infections, to control the spread of the deadly virus. The teams are “being deployed to assist the state health departments in COVID-19 surveillance, control and containment measures,” a separate official statement said today.