Centre reviews fresh surge in COVID-19 cases in states, UTs; emphasises on effective surveillance


New Delhi: In view of a surge in active cases of COVID-19 in some of the states and Union Territories, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Saturday chaired a high-level review meeting with Chief Secretaries of states and UTs and stressed on the need for effective testing, comprehensive tracking, prompt isolation of positive cases and quick quarantine of close contacts.

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Maharashtra, Punjab, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Telangana and Jammu and Kashmir have been reporting a high active caseload or an increasing trend in new cases in the last week.

The chief secretaries of the states briefed Gauba about the current situation in the states and their preparedness to tackle the recent spike of COVID-19 cases. They informed about the enforcement of COVID-19 appropriate behavior by levying heavy fines and challans, reviewing the surveillance and containment activities closely with the district collectors, and other steps being taken in line with the guidelines provided by MoHFW and MHA.

Later, the Cabinet Secretary reiterated that states need to maintain a continued rigorous vigil in terms of containing the spread and not squander away the gains of the collective hard work of the last year. They were advised not to lower their guard, enforce COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and deal firmly with violations.

He further strongly underlined that the states need to follow effective surveillance strategies in respect of potential super spreading events. “There is a need for effective testing, comprehensive tracking, prompt isolation of positive cases and quick quarantine of close contacts,” he said. (ANI)
Six states – Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat- have shown a surge in new cases in the last 24 hours.

Maharashtra continues to report the highest daily new cases at 8,333. It is followed by Kerala with 3,671 while Punjab reported 622 new cases in the last 24 hours. In the last two weeks, Maharashtra has shown the highest rise in active cases from 34,449 on February 14 to 68,810 currently.

The review meeting was attended by the Chief Secretaries and senior health professionals of the States and UTs along with the Union Health Secretary, Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), NITI Aayog Empowered Group members, and representatives from the Home Ministry. (ANI)