MP registers 13.4% week-on-week increase in new COVID cases

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The Centre has flagged critical bottlenecks in the response to COVID in Madhya Pradesh. These include – shortage of beds in general and oxygenated beds in particular and other hospital infrastructure. To prevent surge in cases and prevent mortality, the State has been asked to curb non-essential movement of large groups of people and social gatherings that could turn into super spreader events. Especially, the need to carry out this exercise in urban areas has been stressed.

Government of India statement, 15 April 2021

New Delhi: Madhya Pradesh has reported nearly 13.4% week-on-week increase in new COVID cases. In last two weeks, the State has seen almost 79% increase in weekly new cases. It was pointed out that 44 districts in Madhya Pradesh have crossed their reported highest cases in the last 30 days. It was pointed out that Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior and Khandwa are the most affected districts.

This was underscored at a high level meeting chaired by Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, along with Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary, on Thursday 15 April 2021 to review the status of COVID19 in Madhya Pradesh and the public health measures taken for surveillance, containment and management of COVID19 by the health authorities.

Iqbal Singh Bains, Chief Secretary, MP, Dr.  Balram Bhargava, DG ICMR, Dr (Prof) Sunil Kumar, DGHS were present along with Principal Secretary (Health), Mission Director (NHM), and State Surveillance Officers of the MP.

Granular details like Testing and Case Analysis Weekly trend in analysis in these districts was also discussed.

In MP, compared to the week 7th-13th April 2021, in the week 17th-23rd March 2021, RT-PCR tests have increased to 73% (from 67%) while the Antigen tests has decreased to 25% (from 31%). Issues related to adequate availability of N95 Masks, PPE Kits, HCQ tablets availability, ventilator allocation, delivery and installation along with Oxygen requirement and status of allocation of Concentrator Plants were discussed in detail.

The Union Home Secretary highlighted critical bottlenecks in the State’s response to COVID. These include shortage of beds in general and oxygenated beds in particular and other hospital infrastructure. The State was asked to curb non-essential movement of large groups of people and social gatherings that could turn into super spreader events with an aim to prevent surge in cases and prevent mortality. The need to carry out the exercise in urban areas was particularly stressed. 

The Union Health Secretary urged to actively explore the possibility of also using hospitals belonging to organizations of the Union Government like the Railways, Labour (ESI), SAIL, and Coal India to augment the existing hospital infrastructure of the State. He also informed them that all final year MBBS and nursing students along with interns and junior residents can be drafted by following the guidelines issued by the Union Health Ministry in this regard. Union Health Secretary focuses on 5-fold strategy of “Test, Track, Treat, Vaccinate” State advised to strengthen and enhance Oxygen beds and ICU beds  and UTs. While hospital level and district level committees were a

Madhya Pradesh was asked to look into Oxygen planning and utilization, the utility of virtual control room set up by DPIIT and the Union Health Ministry was also pointed to the State authorities.

After a detailed and comprehensive review of the status of COVID-19 in the state, including the mortality figures, the following 5-fold strategy for tackling the recent surge was highlighted and discussed.

On the Testing front, the State was advised to- Significantly increase testing in all districts with a minimum of 70% RT-PCR tests and use of Rapid Antigen Tests as screening tests in densely populated areas as well as areas where fresh clusters are emerging.

The State has also been asked to mandatorily subject those who have tested negative in Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) to RT-PCR test. Tracing, Containment, surveillance to suppress spread Tracing of close contacts at least 25 to 30 such close contacts for each infected person and their isolation to be done in 72 hours. Do subsequent testing and follow up of all close contacts. Delineate Containment Zones as per proper mapping of clusters of cases & their contacts.

Further, the State has been advised to follow the protocol of Clinical care, treatment & support, for Home / facility care; increase the number of isolation beds, oxygen beds, ventilators/ICU beds, ambulance fleet as per requirement; plan for adequate oxygen supply; focus on mortality reduction by early identification & complying to treatment protocols.

On the front of COVID safe behaviour, the State has been advised to use local political, cultural, sports, religious influencers to disseminate proper wearing of masks and maintaining physical distance. Use of Police Act, DM Act and other legal/administrative provisions for effective and strict enforcement.

Regarding vaccination, the State has been told to ensure time-bound plan of 100% vaccination of eligible HCWs, FLWs and eligible age groups.

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