NEW DELHI: With certain areas witnessing a significant jump in number of Covid-19 cases, the health ministry is now identifying emerging hotspots for the infection to put in place a rigorous cluster isolation and containment strategy and avoid possibility of community transmission.
“The process for identifying emerging hotspots where there is a high case load has begun and rigorous cluster containment strategy would be implemented at these hotspots on a war footing,” health ministry joint secretary Lav Agarwal said at the regular press briefing on Sunday.
The government has also expanded its surveillance mechanism to cover migrant workers who are heading out of cities to go to their native villages amid a 21-day lockdown across the country as reported by TOI in its edition dated March 29.
Agarwal said the health risk profiling mechanism for international passengers will now be applicable on the migrants who have been on the move as well. This means, those who are on the trek to their home villages and towns will have to undergo risk profiling. Those with symptoms will be kept in isolation facility and undergo treatment if tested positive and others advised 14 days of home quarantine as per the protocol and will be under rigorous monitoring.
On Sunday, the cabinet secretary as well as health secretary held meetings with states representatives and asked them to ensure that the protocols and guidelines of lockdown as well as quarantine of migrants are strictly implemented. States have also been asked to step up containment strategy by keeping a stern check on clusters from where more cases are reported.
The exercise is crucial to avoid spread of the novel coronavirus in the community, either from the clusters or through those travelling from one city to another.
Maharashtra and Kerala have emerged as the top two states with most number of infections followed by others like Karnataka, Telangana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh where number of positive cases has gone past 50.
Health ministry reported 979 total confirmed cases of Covid-19 till 8pm on Sunday. Of this, 867 were active cases, whereas 86 were cured and one was migrated case. Total number of deaths stood at 25.
Maharashtra reported 186 confirmed cases, whereas Kerala was at 182 till Sunday, according to the ministry data.
“Cases are increasing and we need to be alert. At least 106 new Covid-19 cases and six deaths were reported from six states in the last 24 hours. The cabinet secretary has convened some meetings with the chief secretaries of all states in the last 24 hours for reviewing the situation of Covid-19 cases in the country and containment measures,” Agarwal said.
To avoid cross-infection, the Centre has also asked states to create dedicated separate treatment facilities for Covid-19 patients to avoid cross-infection.
“The states are finishing up identifying dedicated hospitals for treatment of Covid-19 and we have asked them to ensure there is no intermingling of non-Covid-19 patients with coronavirus-infected patients,” Agarwal added.
He said the government is also upgrading health logistics including procurement and manufacturing of personal protective equipment (PPEs), ventilators and other essential equipment.