The Centre reviewed public health preparedness for the management of COVID-19 and vaccination progress with States in view of the upsurge in COVID-19 cases. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan chaired a high-level meeting through video conferencing with States and Union Territories yesterday. He cautioned States and UTs against any complacency and advised them to follow up on the priorities listed in the joint advisory issued by the Department of Health Research and the Department of Health and Family Welfare. He stressed on ramping of testing with higher proportion of RT-PCR, and whole genome sequencing of positive samples. Mr Bhushan urged everyone to follow COVID-appropriate behaviour at all times. He also stressed on the need to increase administration of precautionary doses among people, especially for the vulnerable population group.
Mr Bhushan also advised States to undertake mock drills across all health facilities on the 10th and the 11th of April to ensure operational readiness of Hospital Infrastructure, including Oxygen Cylinders, PSA oxygen plants, ventilators, logistics and human resources.
The Union Health Secretary said, irrespective of the new COVID variants, Test-Track-Treat-Vaccinate and adherence to COVID-appropriate behaviour continue to remain the tested strategy for COVID management. During the meeting, states were urged to ensure availability of sufficient designated beds and health workers across the states, enhance community awareness regarding disease and regularly update COVID-19 data in Covid India Portal.