Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Centre asks Kerala govt to adopt five-point strategy following sharp rise in Covid cases in state

Amid the recent sharp increase in the COVID-19 cases in Kerala, the Centre has asked the State government to ensure strict adherence to the five-fold strategy of Test-Track-Treat-Vaccinate and ensuring COVID Appropriate Behaviour. In a letter to State Chief Secretary, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan reiterated that containment zones need to be defined as per the guidelines with a special focus on the high transmission clusters. He asked to clearly identify the buffer zone around the containment zone and enhance passive surveillance to detect any spillover of cases from the containment zone.

Mr Bhushan added that contact tracing effort should be further scaled up to ensure that at least 20 to 25 contacts per positive case are identified.

The enforcement of COVID-appropriate behavior and avoidance of mass gatherings have also been suggested to the State Government.
The Secretary also directed to enhance targeted testing in containment zones. Kerala government has been told to devise a State specific strategy to complete the second dose vaccination of due beneficiaries.

The Secretary added that Kerala has witnessed a sustained and significant transmission of COVID-19 since July this year and it   remains one of the top contributors to daily new cases. He said, all 14 districts in Kerala have been identified as districts of concern due to high test positivity rates and high cases per million reported in the past four weeks.

Mr Bhushan reiterated that any laxity in ensuring strict adherence to the five-fold strategy, may result in further surge in COVID transmission in Kerala and its neighboring States.
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