Centre asks states to vaccinate all above 45 in 2 weeks in districts seeing surge in Covid cases

The Centre has asked all the states to vaccinate all above 45 years of age in the districts that are witnessing a rise in coronavirus cases.

UPDATED: March 31, 2021 14:57 IST

In view of an upsurge in coronavirus cases in some districts, the central government has directed all the states to vaccinate all above 45 years of age in the districts that are witnessing a rise in infection cases. The Centre has asked the states to vaccinate those above 45 years within two weeks.

In a letter by health secretaries to all states/UTs, the Centre has asked them to expedite vaccination and ensure 100 per cent vaccination to all above 45 years in those districts that are witnessing a surge in the coronavirus cases in the past few days.

All districts with high caseload and registering a rise in the daily coronavirus cases must ensure “saturation vaccination of priority age groups of 45 years and above in the coming two weeks”, the central government has said.

The central government has also directed all the states to trace 25 to 30 contacts of each coronavirus case and ensure their proper isolation. Larger containment zones are among the steps the Centre has asked all the states to adopt to tackle the surge in coronavirus cases.

Calling for a district-centric approach to fight the upward swing in coronavirus cases, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said on Tuesday that each district, irrespective of whether it is seeing a surge or not, should formulate an action plan with clear timelines and responsibilities.

In a letter to all chief secretaries, Rajesh Bhushan said coronavirus-appropriate behaviour must be enforced using the Police Act, or powers under the Disaster Management Act.

The health secretary also said the virus can be contained by quarantining and testing individuals suspected to be coronavirus positive as well as isolating, quarantining and testing 25 to 30 close contacts of those who are testing positive for the Covid-19.

“Efficient implementation of Test, Track and Treat remains the only proven strategy for control of transmission,” it said, adding, “Where there are clusters of cases, simply quarantining individuals or families will not help. In that case, larger containment zones with clear boundaries and stringent controls must be implemented.”

The states have also been asked to map cases based on surveillance activities and focused testing in areas, reviewing sub-area-wise indicators like case positivity rate, rate of growth of cases, case fatality, doubling rate of cases, on a real-time basis.

The Centre has also asked the states to review the proportion of Rapid Antigen Tests and RT-PCR tests.


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