Centre tells states, UTs to take up COVID testing of grocery shop, vegetable vendors


NEW DELHI | AUG 08, 2020:

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India has asked States and Union Territories (UTs) to take up Coronavirus testing of grocery shop workers, vegetables, and other vendors as they can potentially spread the infection to a large number of people.

Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Rajesh Bhushan also stressed the need for operationalizing an ambulance transport system with oxygen facility and quick response mechanism, and also the refusal rate of ambulances must be monitored daily and brought down to zero.

Bhushan said that there are likely to be scattered cases, clusters of cases, or large outbreaks in districts. He said the primary aim is to control outbreaks especially in new locations and to save lives at all costs.

He said the aim should be to further reduce mortality and ensure that it does not cross the one percent mark.

The Secretary pointed out that early detection of cases through aggressive testing, prompt isolation, or admission in a healthcare facility and ensuring proper clinical management are major components of mortality reduction.

He stressed the need to enhance surveillance for influenza-like illness, and severe acute respiratory illness as their symptoms are mostly the same as COVID.

He also asked the states and UTs to undertake weekly death audits to assess the determinants of death such as age differentials, comorbidities, late reporting to hospital, and clinical protocols that were followed.

Bhushan also said that a regular house-to-house search must be done periodically to identify those who are at high-risk.