COVID spurt: Centre issues guidelines for Odisha as part of revised surveillance strategy

Bhubaneswar: Raising concern over the consistent rise in daily COVID-19 cases in the state for the last one month, the Centre has cautioned Odisha Government to take up heightened action at the state level to contain spread of the virus.

Sharing figures with the state Health and Family Welfare Department, the concerned Ministry said Odisha has been reporting high average daily new cases for the past one month (845  average cases per day) with highest 1,790 daily cases reported on August 5. The state has also contributed to 5% of lndia’s weekly new cases and a high positivity of 4.85% in week ending August 5.

Highlighting various critical areas of concern, the Ministry informed that 15 districts have reported a decline in the number of total tests conducted in week ending August 4 as compared to week ending July 28. Besides, 10 districts have reported an increase in cases during the same period while four districts, including Sundargarh and Sambalpur  reported more than l0% weekly positivity in the week ending August 4.

Apprehending spread of the virus due to possible mass gatherings owing to various festivals in coming days, the Ministry said it is critical for the state to ensure adequate testing is undertaken in all the districts of the state while maintaining the recommended share of RT-PCR and Antigen tests. The state must also closely monitor districts reporting higher cases, positivity rates and clusters to prevent further spread of infection.

The Ministry urged the state Government to ensure effective compliance of  the following guidelines as part of revised surveillance strategy and ensure effective compliance of the same.

  •  ln view of some changes in symptoms and clinical manifestation of the disease, it is crucial to monitor and report district-wise lnfluenza-like illness (lLl) and SARI cases in all health facilities as per the guidelines, on a regular basis for detecting early warning signals of the spread of infection.
  • Genome Sequencing of prescribed samples of international passengers as well as collection of samples from Sentinel Sites (identified health facilities) and local cluster of new COVID cases is equally important. Such samples must be sent promptly by the State/UT to the designated lab of INSACoG network for Genome sequencing.
  • Renewed attention needs to be paid for ensuring of COVID Appropriate Behaviour in crowded places like markets, inter-state bus stands, sc6ools, colleges, railway stations, etc. Three is a need to promote Covid Appropriate Behaviour through- sensitization and public awareness campaigns, with active participation of local community leaders and other influencers.
  • State should aim to increase the pace of vaccination for all eligible population and accelerate the administration of free precaution doses for 18+ eligible population at all Government COVID Vaccination Centers (CVCs) under the ‘COV;6 Vaccination Amrit Mahotsav’ till September 30, 2022.
  • State is advised to diligently follow the five-fold strategy–Test-Track- Treat- Vaccinate and adherence to COVID Appropriate Behaviour within the community.

The Ministry assured the state that it would continue to provide  requisite support to the state in the ongoing and collective efforts.

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