Chief Secretary directs Collectors to ramp up COVID vaccinations and testing
Chief Secretary, Sri Somesh Kumar IAS today held a video conference with District Collectors and senior officers to review measures for the management of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
2. In a video conference that lasted over two hours, the Chief Secretary issued numerous instructions covering the entire scope of COVID management including testing, tracing, treating, vaccination and enforcement of COVID appropriate behaviour.
Collectors asked to double COVID testing
3. Chief Secretary directed Collectors to steeply increase and double the number of tests being done on a daily basis in order to cast the net wider and identify as many COVID positive persons as possible. He stated that this would help in the early identification and isolation of positive cases which would be in turn help in controlling the spread of disease. Early identification would also enable the early start of treatment which would reduce the probability of cases becoming serious.
4. Collectors were told to see to it that the pace of testing does not come down on weekends and holidays and that all testing centres must work on all days of the week.
5. Chief Secretary asked Collectors to ensure the use of a new testing app for meticulous contact tracing of every positive person and their subsequent testing also.
6. In line with ICMR’s Testing Guidelines version 6 dated 4th September 2020, Collectors were asked to ensure that all symptomatic persons found negative in Rapid Antigen Tests were subjected to RTPCR tests also.
7. Chief Secretary stressed the importance of on-the-spot assessment and counselling of all COVID positive persons by doctors at the testing location itself. He also emphasised the need to hand over a kit of essential medicines to all persons found fit for home isolation. Further, persons in home isolation were to be monitored by home visits/tele-calling.
Ramping up of COVID vaccinations
8. Chief Secretary directed Collectors to ramp up the pace of COVID vaccinations. With relaxation to vaccinate all persons above the age of 45 years irrespective of comorbidity, Government Covid Vaccination Centres (GCVCs) have been opened down to the PHC level increases the number of GCVCs from 142 to over one thousand. He asked Collectors to see to it that people were made aware of the locations of the GCVCs. Furthermore, Chief Secretary fixed minimum performance benchmarks for all GCVCs with a minimum of 100 for PHCs, 200 for Area Hospitals/Community Health Centres and 300 for District Hospitals/Government General Hospitals so as to ensure that daily vaccinations in GCVCs across the states exceed 1.25 lakh a day from the present figure of 50,000.
Area-based approach to testing and vaccination
9. Chief Secretary told Collectors to take up intensified testing and vaccination at even higher levels in PHC/testing centre areas showing high positivity within the district.
COVID Care Centres
10. Collectors apprised Chief Secretary that COVID Care Centres (CCCs) had been set up in all districts. Chief Secretary asked Collectors to ensure that round the clock medical care should be made available in all CCCs. The medical condition of persons in CCCs should be monitored closely and anyone in need of higher care should be shifted to a designated COVID hospital seamlessly.
11. Chief Secretary asked Collectors to review the preparedness at designated government COVID hospitals with superintendents concerned. He asked them to ensure that supply of oxygen and essential drugs were in place, relevant equipment was fully working, and requisite human resource was deployed.
Enforcement of COVID appropriate behaviour
12. Chief Secretary directed Collectors to strictly enforce GO 68 dated 27th March 2021 on mandatory use of masks in public places and GO 69 dated 27th March 2021 prohibiting religious gatherings and processions.
13. During the meeting Chief Secretary interacted with each of the Collectors who spelt out detailed action plan worked out by them for implementing the above instructions.
14. Secretary, HMFW, Director, Drugs Control Administration, VC KNRUHS, Director of Medical Education, Director of Public Health, MD TSMSIDC, Technical Advisor, Department of Health participated in the videoconference from Hyderabad.
15. Besides District Collectors, Additional Collectors and ACs (LB), DMHOs, Superintendents of District HQ hospitals, DRDOs, CEOs ZP and DPOs participated in the videoconference from the districts,
Secretary Health and Family Welfare Shri Rizvi, Secretary SC Development Sri Rahul Bojja, Special Secretary Finance Sri Ronald Rose, Director Drugs Control Administration Dr. Preeti Meena, Director Public Health Dr. Srinivas Rao and other officials were present.