Centre sends 50 high level public health teams 50 high covid burden districts

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Centre on Monday constituted 50 high level multi-disciplinary public health teams and deployed them to 50 districts across Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Punjab in the backdrop of very large numbers of daily new covid-19 cases and daily mortality being consistently reported by these States.

The move comes a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi directed the Central Government to send special teams consisting of public health specialists and clinicians to worst affected states by the covid-19 pandemic.

The teams are being rushed to 30 districts of Maharashtra, 11 districts of Chhattisgarh and 9 districts of Punjab to assist the State Health Department and local authorities in covid-19 surveillance, control and containment measures.

The two-member high level team consists of a clinician/epidemiologist and a public health expert. The teams will visit the States immediately and monitor the overall implementation of covid-19 management, especially in testing, including surveillance and containment operations; COVID Appropriate Behavior and its enforcement; availability of hospital beds, sufficient logistics including ambulances, ventilators, medical oxygen etc., and covid Vaccination progress, the union health ministry said.

Three senior officers from the government of India have been appointed as nodal officers for the three states of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Punjab. Vijoy Kumar Singh, Additional Secretary & Financial Adviser, Ministry of Textile is the nodal officer for Punjab; Richa Sharma, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is the nodal officer for Chhattisgarh, whereas Kunak Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban affairs is the nodal officer for Maharashtra.

The high level teams will report to and coordinate with the nodal officers for the three States. They will submit daily reports on five aspects including Testing; Contact Tracing including Surveillance and Containment; Hospital infrastructure including ICU, ventilator and oxygen beds; Enforcement of COVID Appropriate Behavior; and COVID Vaccination.

India’s daily new cases continue to rise with 1,03,558 new covid-19 cases were registered in the last 24 hours. Eight States including Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab have shown a steep rise in the covid-19 daily new cases.

Over 81.90% of the new cases are reported from these 8 states. Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 57,074 (55.11%). It is followed by Chhattisgarh with 5,250 while Karnataka reported 4,553 new cases. India’s total Active Caseload has reached 7,41,830. It now comprises 5.89% of the country’s total Positive Cases. A net incline of 50,233 cases recorded from the total active caseload in the last 24 hours.

Five states, namely Maharashtra, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Kerala and Punjab cumulatively account for 75.88% of the total active cases in the country. Maharashtra alone accounts for nearly 58.23% of the total active caseload of the country. Around 478 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours. Eight States account for 84.52% of the new deaths. Maharashtra saw the maximum casualties (222). Punjab follows with 51 daily deaths.

As an ongoing effort to strengthen efforts of various State/UT Governments for COVID management, the Central Government has been deputing Central teams from time to time to visit various States/UTs. These teams interact with the State/UT authorities and get a first hand understanding of the challenges and issues being faced by them so as to strengthen their ongoing activities and remove bottlenecks, if any.

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