Covid preparedness: State charts 11 action points | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Covid preparedness: State charts 11 action points

Apr 29, 2022 08:21 PM IST

The letter issued by additional chief secretary Dr Pradeep Vyas early this week has also mandated all districts to complete the ongoing work on oxygen generation plants

Mumbai Increasing Covid tests, sending samples for genome sequencing when a cluster of three to seven cases is found, getting people to wear masks in closed spaces such as cinema halls, offices and auditoriums, promoting vaccination- are among the 11 action points drafted by the state government for all districts.

According to Joshi, the ongoing heatwave calls for extra vigilance as all the previous waves have surged in hot weather conditions (Vijay Bate)
According to Joshi, the ongoing heatwave calls for extra vigilance as all the previous waves have surged in hot weather conditions (Vijay Bate)

The letter issued by additional chief secretary Dr Pradeep Vyas early this week has also mandated all districts to complete the ongoing work on oxygen generation plants and also keep the current oxygen storage full.

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“The number of daily Covid cases in the state is low, but we cannot discontinue surveillance or become less vigilant,” said the state’s Covid task force member Dr Shashank Joshi. “All districts therefore should promote voluntary indoor masking, not let their testing numbers fall and conduct genome sequencing wherever necessary,” he said.

According to Joshi, the ongoing heatwave calls for extra vigilance as all the previous waves have surged in hot weather conditions. “The third wave is definitely over, but we cannot be caught off guard if a new surge happens,” he said.

The state’s weekly positivity rate is now around 0.73% but as many as nine districts have a positivity rate higher than the state’s average. These include Dhule (4.83%), Pune (1.52%), Akola (1.42), Sindhudurg (1.34%), Hingoli (1.31%), Mumbai (1.07%), Parbhani (1%), Gondia (0.79%) and Kolhapur (0.74%).

Given the continuous circulation of the virus, the state has also asked districts to improve influenza-like illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) surveillance and promote vaccination in all categories. The state warned the districts about the low vaccination average in all categories compared to the national average.

“Following the letter from the state, we called for a meeting with all the health officials and have asked them to focus on awareness about wearing masks and vaccination,” said Dr Yogesh Sale, the district health officer of Kolhapur.

“We are soon reviving the ‘no mask, no entry’ campaign for closed spaces,” he said, adding that Kolhapur’s 17 oxygen generation plants are now functional and have a capacity to produce 145 MT of oxygen. “Our peak requirement during the second wave was 52MT, thus we are prepared if the pandemic takes a worse turn,” he said.

The state has also asked the districts to keep a plan ready for non-Covid services in case the cases rise suddenly and has asked them to avoid turning all facilities into Covid hospitals as a panic reaction. “Try to pool patients at a few locations as hospitalisation is likely to be less,” the state’s communication said further adding that districts should also make funds available for fire audits of all hospitals.

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