Himachal, Nagaland need to take more precautionary measures
Ground Report | New Desk: Covid positivity rates are high in almost 90 per cent of the country. In all 640 districts, the positive rate was higher than the national average of 5 per cent, the Center said.
The deadly second wave of the corona virus is filling hospitals and cemeteries. The covid review meeting concluded that the lack of medical oxygen and medication was exacerbated by the increasing number of critically ill patients.
Although the center expanded vaccination last month to include everyone over the age of 18, most states are facing a vaccine shortage. Officials have warned states in case the virus spreads to rural areas.
Health Ministry spokesperson Lav Agarwal said states like Himachal Pradesh and Nagaland were experiencing high levels of positivity and needed to take more precautionary measures.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has revised the criteria for covid testing, focusing exclusively on rural areas. The new proposal focuses on rapid antigen tests, not RT-PCR tests.
Second, there is no need for RT-PCR testing, and now the RT-PCR ratio is moving from 70-30 to antigen tests, said ICMR Director General Dr. Balram Bhargava said.
Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba and health experts chaired the review meeting to assess the covid situation.
The meeting also discussed the need to expand facilities for tele-consultation through more helplines, active participation of volunteers, community organizations and NGOs.
He asked the states to increase the infrastructure in sub-centers, primary health centers and other health centers. The meeting also discussed measures to improve human resource capacity for covid defense.
States have been asked to prioritize three key areas: testing, cantonment zones and infrastructure. The government had earlier proposed to impose lockdowns in areas where the test positivity rate is more than 10 per cent.