Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan today reviewed COVID and public health measures with Health Ministers and senior state officials of nine states. These states are Andhra Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Telangana, Punjab, Haryana and Kerala. Restating his concern that the coming winter and the festive season pose a significant risk that could threaten the gains made collectively till now against COVID-19, Dr Vardhan said, we all required being more vigilant for the entire festive season. He said, Respiratory virus also spreads rapidly in the winter months.
Sharing the nation’s journey through COVID, Dr Harsh Vardhan spoke how the country increased the numbers of labs from one in NIV, Pune in January this year to 2074 today thereby increasing the testing capacity to 1.5 million per day. He also mentioned about the increased number of general, oxygenated and ICU beds at each level of COVID care hierarchy.
He also added that India has the highest recovery rate and one of the lowest fatality rate, globally. Dr Vardhan also elaborated steps taken by the government to promote Jan Andolan, like dissemination of the message through caller tune and other IEC activities. He concluded by saying that COVID Appropriate Behaviour still is the best bet against COVID and following it is easy.
Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan requested all the states to focus on ten key areas to contain COVID and gain an upper hand over its trajectory, increasing testing; targeted testing at market-places, workplaces, religious congregations and completion of contact tracing within the first 72 hours.
During the meeting, the State Health Ministers shared a brief snapshot of the actions taken for containment, surveillance and treatment of the COVID positive cases. They also highlighted the best practices being followed.