A patient wearing an oxygen mask waits to enter a COVID-19 hospital for treatment, Ahmedabad, April 25, 2021. Photo: REUTERS/Amit Dave
New Delhi: Noting that existing infrastructure “might not be able to cope” with the surge in COVID-19 cases, the Centre on Sunday suggested that states should identify geographies with higher positivity or bed occupancy rate, and take local containment measures for 14 days.
Local containment will primarily focus on restricting the intermingling of people and on three strategic areas of intervention, which include containment, clinical management and community engagement, the health ministry said in a statement.
Noting the very high number of new COVID-19 cases being reported for the past few days, the Centre said there is an urgent need for states to consider strict COVID-19 management and control measures to bring the situation under control.
“The existing infrastructure may not be able to cope with this kind of surge, it has been stressed,” the statement reads.
In this regard, a letter has been written to health secretaries of all states by Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan.
Underlining the need for prompt and targeted action focused on specific areas to flatten the current curve, the Centre suggested that states identify those areas with test positivity of 10% or more in the past week and those areas where more than 60% of oxygen supported or ICU beds in hospitals are occupied.
Districts fulfilling any one of the above two criteria are to be considered for taking intensive action and local containment measures. Local containment primarily focused on restricting the intermingling of people for a period of 14 days to break the chain of transmission by duly following epidemiological principles, the health ministry said.
Elaborating the local containment measures, the Centre said it will essentially focus on containment, clinical management and community engagement.
Identification of areas for local containment should be a dynamic exercise aiming to break and suppress the chain of transmission of COVID-19 and save precious lives in areas reporting a higher surge in cases and deaths and exhibiting overstretched healthcare systems, it said.
The Centre has also suggested a monitoring mechanism for states in this regard. As the situation is dynamic, a daily review should be taken up at the highest levels in the state, it said.
The Centre also said local administration shall decide the duration of the night curfew hours and issue orders, in the entire area of their jurisdiction, under appropriate provisions of law, such as under Section 144 of CrPC, and ensure strict compliance. The Centre also said local administration shall decide the duration of the night curfew hours and issue orders, in the entire area of their jurisdiction, under appropriate provisions of law, such as under Section 144 of CrPC, and ensure strict compliance.