New Delhi: The Centre on Tuesday urged states and Union Territories reporting a surge in Covid-19 cases to step up the vigil.
The Union Health Ministry officials reviewed the Covid-19 pandemic status of 14 such states through a hybrid meeting and advised them to exercise caution and show continuous alertness.
According to the Union Ministry, these states are reporting a high number of cases on a week-to-week basis along with increased case positivity combined with low numbers of COVID tests and below-average Covid vaccination.
The Union Health Ministry noted in the meeting that the uptake in second and precaution doses in many states reporting the present surge was low. They were advised to accelerate vaccination under the door-to-door vaccination drive of the Centre.
“They were advised to rapidly accelerate the vaccination coverage, especially of the 60+ elderly population, and second dose among 12-17 population group. It was pointed out that the ongoing Har Ghar Dastak 2.0 drive needed a strong push to ramp up Covid-19 vaccine uptake,” officials said.
Dr Vinod Paul, member (Health), NITI Aayog, who was present at the review meeting, advised states to be watchful of the emerging pandemic situation.
“The major action point is to focus on strengthening proactive surveillance as per the Revised Surveillance Strategy issued by Union Health Ministry on 9th June 2022,” he stressed.
“Routine surveillance constitutes the steel frame of our Covid-19 response and management strategy and needs continuous and unstinted attention,” he added.
The four-fold strategy highlights surveillance of incoming inter-national travellers; community-based surveillance; sentinel site surveillance (health facility-based surveillance and lab-based surveillance); and Whole Genome Sequencing.
The states were also strongly advised to strictly monitor the epidemiological profile of admitted Covid-19 patients and report the clinical manifestation to the Ministry rather than a random or anecdotal reporting.
“This will help to identify at an early stage any out-of-the-ordinary or different clinical presentation of the patients,” an official said.