Wednesday, 1 December, 2021

NEWS in brief

Indian govt warns 11 states about dengue strain

NEW DELHI: The 11 Indian states reporting a more dangerous type of dengue have been asked by the government to take steps for early detection of cases, start fever helplines and stock adequate testing kits, larvicides and medicines, reports NDTV. The high-level review meeting of the COVID-19 situation also took note of the high test positivity as it directed the states to ensure avoidance of mass gatherings in view of the upcoming festival season.

During the meeting, the affected states were asked to deploy rapid response teams for the prompt investigation to the “emerging challenge” of Serotype-II Dengue, which is associated with more cases and more complications than other forms of the disease, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said. States were also requested to also undertake campaigns regarding helplines, methods of vector control, source reduction at homes and symptoms of dengue.

The states reporting serotype - II dengue cases are Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, MP, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana.

Earlier, the health ministry had issued an advisory to these states in August and on September 10.

On COVID-19 management, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan directed 15 states - reporting high positivity rate - to ensure necessary precautions and effective enforcement. Seventy districts in 15 states “are a cause of concern” as they continue to report a high positivity rate over 5 percent, with 34 districts crossing 10 percent positivity the Health Secretary said.

In view of the forthcoming festival season, states were directed to ensure all necessary precautions and effective enforcement for the avoidance of mass gathering and congested closed spaces.

Drawing examples from other countries that saw multiple peaks of COVID-19, Gauba advised the state Health administrators to ramp up their health infrastructure and stock essential medicine, to meet any potential surge in cases.

“Existing guidelines regarding malls, local markets, and places of worship are to be strictly followed. States were urged to undertake effective IEC for promotion of COVID Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) and COVID safe festivities. They were advised to closely monitor the case trajectories in all districts on a daily basis to identify early warning signals and ensure the imposition of restrictions and adherence to CAB,” the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.

The meeting chaired by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba was attended by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan and Dr VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog. It also included Chief Secretaries, Additional Chief Secretaries (Health), Principal Secretaries (Health), Municipal Commissioners, District Collectors and other senior officials of States and UTs.