Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare said that the country will hear good news regarding its fight against novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the next few weeks.
Vardhan held a high-level meeting with Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim to review the status of COVID-19 in the Northeastern States along with the measures being taken for its containment and management.
“It is a huge relief and very encouraging to see green zones in most Northeastern States. As of date, only Assam and Tripura have active COVID-19 cases; the other States are all in the green zone. Let us focus and work together by converting the orange zones to green zones and maintain the protective status across the States,” he stated.
Vardhan stated that as on May 9th, 2020, a total of 59,662 cases have been reported from the country in which 17,847 persons have been cured and 1,981 deaths had occurred. In the last 24 hours, 3,320 new confirmed cases have been added and 1307 patients were found cured. He added that the fatality rate is 3.3 per cent and the very rate is 29.9 per cent.
The review meeting over video conference was attended by R Lalthangliana, Health Minister of Mizoram, Sh. Alo Libang, Health Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, and Piyush Hazarika, MoS, Health and Family Welfare, Assam along with senior officers from the eight States.
During the detailed interaction with the Northeastern States, the representatives of each state highlighted various issues related to testing facilities, health infrastructure, surveillance, contact tracing etc., and also shared their best practices.
“Political commitment at the highest levels of the Government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is leading the government’s response against COVID-19. India is prepared and fighting with the pandemic through its various timely measures and sturdy systems of surveillance for coronavirus,” Vardhan said.
To maintain the positive status of COVID-19 management in the Northeast, Vardhan advised the States to ensure that the returning migrant labourers, students and those returning from abroad should be screened and quarantined as per the guidelines and protocol laid down by the by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of External Affairs.
He also stated that the guidelines for discharging patients is also revised and needs to be followed by all the States.
“While some states have worked in this direction, others need to focus on more effective surveillance, contact tracing, house to house survey and early diagnosis. Surveillance for Severe Acute Respiratory Infections (SARI)/ Influenza-Like Illness (ILI) should be intensified in unaffected districts and districts which have not reported cases from last 14 days and more through the IDSP network in collaboration with Medical College Hospitals,” he added.
He urged States to aggressively pursue the download of Aarogya Setu app to aid contact tracing and surveillance, and for self-assessment by people. He advised the States to put the information of the earmarked facilities for COVID-19 like the dedicated COVID hospitals, COVID Health Centres and Care Centers in the public domain to help people access the services.
The States were informed that funds have been allocated by Minister of DONER (Ministry of DoNER) for the strengthening of the health infrastructure, and states need to submit their proposals for availing of funds under this fund.