NEW DELHI: Amid rising concerns about increasing Covid-19 deaths in some states, the Centre has asked nine states and one Union Territory – that together contributed 89% of total Covid-19 casualties in the last two weeks – to take proactive steps to limit transmission of the infection and reduce fatalities to less than 1% across all districts.
The 10 states/UT are Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, Gujarat, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.
In a review meeting chaired by cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba on Thursday, the Centre asked these states to continue with rigorous vigil to ensure at least in 80 % of new positive cases, all close contacts are traced and tested within 72 hours.
The meeting held over video conference was attended by chief secretaries and health secretaries of these states.
While asking the states to focus on effective containment, contact tracing and surveillance, the Centre also stressed on the need to ensure a minimum of140 tests per million per day in all districts while targeting a positivity or confirmation rate of below 5%, as per the WHO norm.
States were also given strict instructions to retest all symptomatic negatives of antigen tests with RT-PCR, while leveraging these tests in containment zones and healthcare settings.
The review and suggestions to states were primarily based on health ministry’s assessment of the data so far.
TOI had reported on Thursday that the sharp rise in deaths has emerged as a concern prompting the Centre to advised states to do death audits in each Covid hospital and follow standard treatment protocol to ensure the death rate comes down to below 1%.
On Thursday, the health ministry said a total of 60,472 have died due to Covid-19 so far after 1,023 fresh deaths were registered on Wednesday. While the overall case fatality rate has remained stable at around 1.8% for some time now, that is also because the total number of infections are on the upswing.
The Centre has also asked states to regularly monitor patients in home isolation and ensure timely admission to healthcare facilities if SpO2 (blood oxygen level) falls below the designated level. Besides, states have been asked to put in public domain the availability of beds and ambulances across Covid facilities while significantly reducing ambulance response time.


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