New Delhi:Though the number of active Covid cases and the test positivity rate in many states are coming down, people must remain ‘satark’ (vigilant) and not lower their guard, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Saturday while virtually interacting with the health ministers and other senior officials of five states — Odisha, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
“The fight against Covid is a joint effort and joint responsibility of the Centre and the states, and I am happy that we have faced this public health challenge with a collaborative spirit,” said the Health Minister.
The virtual meeting, which was also attended by Bharati Pravin Pawar, Union Minister of State for Health, was held to review the public health preparedness for containment and management of Covid and progress of the national vaccination campaign.
Mandaviya said that irrespective of Covid variants, ‘Test-Track-Treat-Vaccinate & Adherence to COVID Appropriate Behaviour’ continues to remain the tested strategy for Covid management.
“While active cases in most of the states and the positivity rate have shown a fall in the last two weeks, we still need to be vigilant and not lower our guard,” he stated.
The minister urged the state officials to monitor the case positivity rate on a daily basis and increase RT-PCR testing as most of the states exhibited lower number of tests.
The states were also advised to keep a close watch on the number of hospitalisations and deaths.
“It is important to analyse at the state level the proportion of vaccinated and unvaccinated people among the hospitalised cases, the deaths and those on ventilator and oxygen support,” he said.
Highlighting vaccination as a critical tool for pandemic management, Mandaviya advised the states to accelerate vaccination of all eligible population, especially the 15-17 age group and those whose second dose is due.
The minister reiterated his advice for all states to fully and effectively utilise the ECRP-II funds for strengthening the existing healthcare infrastructure and create new as per requirement. As the located funds under ECRP-II shall lapse on March 31, 2022, the states have been requested to review the progress on a regular basis, as this healthcare infrastructure will not only be utilised during the present pandemic, but will serve the people in the future too.