A COVID-19 mapping was suggested by the Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan in Maharashtra to check the vulnerability of certain districts that are heavily populated. The aim behind this measure is to provide these areas with productive containment strategies and plans as Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit state affected by the deadly coronavirus pandemic, recording a maximum number of positive cases and deaths.
A virtual meeting was arranged by Vardhan with the top authorities which included Health Minister of Maharashtra Rajesh Tope, Medical Education Minister Amit Deshmukh and district magistrates of various affected areas in Maharashtra.
A detailed presentation showing the status of the coronavirus pandemic in Maharashtra was made by SK Singh, the Director of National Centre for Disease where he pointed out the areas or districts showing a maximum number of positive cases, confirmation cases, death rates, doubling duration and low rates of testing.
According to the Health Ministry’s statement, Singh also highlighted the accessibility of health facilities and titled some of the districts that need proper observation and attention amidst the maximum number of active cases and death rates.
In a statement, PTI quoted Vardhan as saying, "Increase in the number of containment zones needs immediate attention. Vulnerability mapping of densely populated areas should be done for an effective containment strategy to be put in place. Also, a rise in case fatality rate should be looked into along with tests done per million populations."
All the medical facilities including ICU, ventilators and testing labs were suggested to be made more efficient and strong by Vardhan, in order to ensure that they are easily available to the patients in future.
He also suggested to the Human Resource Management to build up modules and programs for virtual training of medical staff to ensure quality training, this way the health care facilities can be improvised and become efficient for treatment.
The state officials were also advised to ensure fast delivery of Covid-19 test reports to ensure that the patients are detected early and get the right treatment at the right time.
"We have ramped up our testing capacity through a network of 602 government labs and 235 private labs (total 837 labs). We have cumulatively tested 52,13,140 samples till date and 1,51,808 samples were tested in the last 24 hours," he added.
He also said that around 136 lakh N95 masks and 106 lakh PPEs were provided to different various states, union territories and central organizations. He also added that PPEs should be used in Non-COVID medical centres as well according to the guidelines issued by the Union Ministry.
He also mentioned about contact tracing which would require strengthening the Human Resource Management, increase in logistics like ICU beds along with proper ventilators, beds supplemented with oxygen facilities and also altering the behaviour change communication activities to lessen the chances of the people unwilling to accept the disease and counselling of the contacts that are riskier, the statement said.
Major attention was advised to be provided to RMNCHA+N (Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent Health Plus Nutrition) especially pregnant women and other services like blood collection/transfusion, chemotherapy and dialysis. Vardhan also said that actions will be taken against those who spit in public places to stop the COVID-19 spread.
"The state must ensure that essential services for tuberculosis diagnosis and management do not suffer as these patients are very much prone to the COVID-19 infection," he said.