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Centre suggests effective containment, contact tracing amid surge in COVID-19 cases


New Delhi: The Centre on Saturday took strong note of the sharp rise in the number of coronavirus cases in the country and advised as many as 12 states and Union Territories of taking stringent action, including effective containment and contact tracing.

A review meeting chaired by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan with additional chief secretaries, principal secretaries and secretaries (Health and Family Welfare) of these states and municipal commissioners and district collectors highlighted that while 90 per cent people are aware, only 44 per cent actually wear face masks.

The ministry also suggested that the states should increase testing in all districts. “Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) to be mostly deployed as a screening tool in flushing out cluster cases from densely populated areas,” the ministry said.

Centre noted that one infected person could spread the virus to an average of 406 individuals in a 30-day window without restrictions.

“One infected person could spread COVID-19 to an average of 406 other individuals in a 30-day window without restrictions which could be reduced to just 15 by decreasing physical exposure to 50 per cent and to a further 2.5 (average) by decreasing physical exposure to 75 per cent,” the ministry said.

A significant increase in testing and ensuring compliance of COVID-19 appropriate behaviour to help in curbing the spread of the virus in these 12 states and UTs has been suggested. These 12 states and Union Territories are Maharashtra, Gujarat, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Punjab and Bihar.

The Centre also asked states and UTs to give renewed attention to ensuring ‘COVID-appropriate behaviour’ in crowded places like markets, inter-state bus stands, schools, colleges, railway stations, etc.

Also, the ministry asked the states to make advance planning of logistics and infrastructure management for past 45 days or so as many unchecked spread of infection among the community may overwhelm the local administration. 

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Source: Zee News