Health Ministry tells states, UTs with rising COVID cases to 'Test, Track and Treat'

NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on Saturday urged the states, exhibiting surge in daily new COVID-19 cases and high active caseload, to return to the fundamentals of ‘Test, Track and Treat’.

According to an official release issued by the ministry, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan and member of NITI Aayog Vinod K. Paul today interacted with Health Secretaries and Managing Directors of National Health Mission of Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Union Territories of Delhi and Chandigarh.

“These States/UTs have in the recent past seen increased positivity and increased number of daily positive cases,” the release said.

The officials reviewed the ongoing public health measures of surveillance, containment and management of COVID-19 cases in wake of the steep rise in daily new cases of COVID-19 and the high number of active caseload being reported from these eight States/UTs.

“These state/UTs have been asked to continue with the effective strategy of ‘Test Track and Treat’ that had yielded rich dividends at the height of the pandemic,” the release said.

During the meeting, it was pointed out that that 9 districts in Delhi, 15 in Haryana, 10 in Andhra Pradesh, 10 in Odisha, 9 in Himachal Pradesh, 7 in Uttarakhand, 2 in Goa and one district in Chandigarh 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 neighbouring States and UTs.

The ministry has urged the officials of these states/UTs to increase the share of RT-PCR tests in districts dependent on high levels of antigen testing, to refocus on surveillance and stringent containment of those areas in selected districts which are seeing cluster of cases and carry out an average close contact tracing of minimum of 20 persons per positive case.

The ministry has also asked them to accelerate the vaccination against the virus for priority population groups in districts reporting higher cases.

The state and UTs officials have also been asked to promote COVID-appropriate behaviour through communication and enforcement.