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TOG NEWS

Health Ministry engages with Districts reporting higher COVID-19 mortality
By TOG News Service
Aug 08, 2020

TOG NEWS SERVICE, NEW DELHI, AUG 08, 2020: THOSE districts that are reporting COVID-19 mortality higher than the national and states' average are a cause of concern. As part of Centre-State coordinated strategy for effective containment and management of the COVID-19 pandemic, a high level virtual meeting was chaired by Mr Rajesh Bhushan, Health Secretary to engage with the district and State administration to analyse the factors driving the high COVID-19 mortality in these districts and devise ways and means to reduce the mortality.

These include 16 districts in four States viz. Ahmedabad and Surat in Gujarat; Belagavi, Bengaluru urban, Kalaburagi and Udupi in Karnataka; Chennai, Kanchipuram, Ranipet, Theni, Thiruvallur, Tiruchirappalli, Tuticorin and Virudhnagar in Tamil Nadu; Hyderabad and Medchal Malkajgiri in Telangana. Apart from the higher case mortality, these districts account for 17% of India's active cases, high daily new cases, low tests per million, and high confirmation percentage. Principal Secretary (Health) and MD (NHM) from the four States along with districtsurveillance officers, district collectors, commissioners of the municipal corporation, Chief Medical Officers, and Medical Superintendent 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 co-morbidities, pregnant women, the elderly and children.

Following the Continuum of Care approach, as sincere containment and surveillance efforts have a bearing on the case mortality, States were advised to ensure optimum capacity utilization 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 analyze availability and need for projected beds and oxygen, and plan in a timely manner. It was pointed out to them to that it was critical to ensure good infection prevention and control practices to control infection in the healthcare workers.