Guj, 3 southern states have high mortality, low testing: Health Ministry

New Delhi, Aug 7 (IANS) The Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry on Friday said that 16 districts in four states – Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Telangana – have the highest Covid-19 mortality, high daily new cases, low tests per million, and a high confirmation percentage.

According to the ministry, these districts include Gujarat's Ahmedabad and Surat, Karnataka's Belagavi, Bengaluru Urban, Kalaburagi and Udupi, Tamil Nadu's Chennai, Kanchipuram, Ranipet, Theni, Thiruvallur, Tiruchirappalli, Tuticorin and Virudhnagar and Telangana's Hyderabad and Medchal Malkajgiri.

“Apart from the higher case mortality, these districts account for 17 per cent of India's active cases, high daily new cases, low tests per million, and high confirmation percentage,” it said in a statement.

Those districts that are reporting Covid-19 mortality higher than the national and states' average are a cause of concern, the Health Ministry said, adding that it is engaging with them to analyse the factors driving the high mortality.

To discuss this, a high-level virtual meeting was chaired by Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan as a part of Centre-state coordinated strategy for effective containment and management of the pandemic.

Principal Secretaries, Health, and the MDs of the National Health Mission from the four states along with district surveillance officers, district Collectors, Commissioners of the municipal corporations, Chief Medical Officers, and Medical Superintendents of medical colleges participated in the meeting.

The districts were advised to ensure that the advisories, guidelines and clinical treatment protocols issued by the Health Ministry are adopted and effectively implemented to reduce the mortality among Covid-19 patients and other preventable deaths among all sections of the people, particularly those with comorbidities, pregnant women, the elderly and children.

Following the Continuum of Care approach, states were advised to ensure optimum capacity utilisation of testing labs, increase tests per million population and reduce confirmation percentage, in addition to ensuring timely availability of ambulances with target zero refusal.

States were also advised to analyse availability and need for projected beds and oxygen, and plan for them in a timely manner. It was pointed out to them that it was critical to ensure good infection prevention and control practices to control infection in the healthcare workers.



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