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‘Ramp up health infrastructure to prepare for next 2 months’

New Delhi: Health infrastructure should be ramped up to ensure preparedness for the next two months in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has conveyed to authorities of 11 municipal areas that have accounted for 70 per cent of the country’s coronavirus case load.

Eleven municipal areas from Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Rajasthan account for 70 per cent of the active caseload, the Union health ministry said in a statement.

The government has asked the 11 municipal areas to step up monitoring in old cities, urban slums and other high density pockets like camps and clusters for migrant workers for management of COVID-19 cases.

Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan, who held a high-level meeting on Saturday through videoconferencing with principal health secretaries and municipal commissioners along with other officials from the 11 municipal areas, urged them to focus on prevention through active screening of high risk and vulnerable population along with effective and sturdy clinical management of the admitted cases to reduce

fatality rate.

COVID-19 cases in India saw the biggest spike for the third consecutive day on Sunday with 6,767 new infections reported in the last 24 hours, taking the nationwide tally to 1,31,868, while the death toll due to the disease rose to 3,867 after 147 more fatalities, the Union Health Ministry said on Sunday.

The active cases of the coronavirus disease rose to 73,560. While 54,440 people have recovered, one patient has migrated to another country, according to the ministry’s bulletin. “Thus, around 41.28 per cent patients have recovered so far,” a Health Ministry

official said.

During the meeting on Saturday, a presentation was made to highlight the trend in case trajectory with respect to the total confirmed cases, case fatality rate, doubling time, tests per million and confirmation percentage, the ministry said.

“It was told that a major challenge lies in those corporations having shorter doubling time, higher mortality rate and a higher confirmation rate than the national average,” the ministry said in its statement.

The officials were briefed about the factors to be considered while mapping the containment and buffer zones and the activities mandated in containment zones like perimeter control, active search for cases through house to house surveillance, contact tracing, clinical management of the active cases. They were also asked to undertake surveillance activities in the buffer zone like monitoring of severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and influenza like illness (ILI) cases and promoting social distancing and hand hygiene among others.

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