Coronavirus | Health Ministry dispatches special teams to Punjab and Chandigarh to check spread

The two-member teams will comprise of a Community Medicine expert from PGIMER, Chandigarh, and an epidemiologist from NCCD.

The Union Health Ministry has dispatched Central teams to Punjab and Chandigarh to guide with containment measures to check the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The two-member teams will comprise a Community Medicine expert from the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, and an epidemiologist from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCCD). These teams shall be stationed in the State/Union Territory for 10 days to provide extended guidance in managing COVID-19.

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Punjab has reported a total of 60,013 cases, whereas it had 15,731 active cases, as of Sunday. It has registered 1,739 deaths. The testing per million figure for the State is 37,546 (India’s average figure is 34,593.1 at present). With 4.97%, it hovers at the “lower spectrum” of cumulative positivity, according to a statement from the Ministry.

The UT of Chandigarh has reported 2,095 active cases whereas its cumulative cases stand at 5,268. Testing Per Million and cumulative positivity stood at 38,054 and 11.99%, respectively.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan convened with Health Secretaries of West Bengal, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Delhi and Puducherry on the containment and management of COVID-19 in 35 districts under their jurisdiction.

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These 35 districts include Kolkata, Howrah, North 24 Parganas and 24 South Parganas in West Bengal; Pune, Nagpur, Thane, Mumbai, Mumbai Suburban, Kolhapur, Sangli, Nashik, Ahmednagar, Raigad, Jalgaon, Solapur, Satara, Palghar, Aurangabad, Dhule and Nanded in Maharashtra; Surat in Gujarat; Puducherry; East Singhbhum in Jharkhand; and all 11 districts in Delhi.

“Mr. Bhushan underscored the need to suppress, curb and eventually break the chain of transmission of the infectious disease by strengthening the active case search focusing on those with comorbidities and elderly population; revisiting and strengthening the containment measures in the affected areas; and scaling up the testing to decrease the positivity rates below 5%,” a release by the Ministry noted.

Also read: COVID-19: Central teams deployed in over 50 municipal bodies facing high case load

States/UTs were advised to take steps on specific areas such as limiting the spread of the infection by implementing stringent containment measures and following social distancing measures, strict perimeter control, and active house-to-house case search. 

They were also advised early identification by ramping up testing across the districts, optional utilisation of RT-PCR testing capacity; effective monitoring of home isolation cases and early hospitalisation in case of disease progression; seamless hospitalisation and early admission for patients requiring medical support, especially in cases of co-morbid and elderly population; following effective infection control measures in hospitals to safeguard healthcare workers from contracting the infection; the District Collectors and other functionaries to prepare and update district specific plans to continue their efforts to manage the pandemic with the same rigour.

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