At least eight states and union territories are accounting for nearly 9 per cent of India’s active cases and about 14 per cent of COVID-19 deaths, even higher than national Case Fatality Rate (CFR) average, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).
The MoHWF said that about 13 districts concentrated within these eight states and union territories are reporting maximum coronavirus cases.
These include – Kamrup Metro in Assam; Patna in Bihar; Ranchi in Jharkhand; Alappuzha and Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala; Ganjam in Odisha; Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh; 24 Paraganas North, Hooghly, Howrah, Kolkata and Maldah in West Bengal and Delhi.
Concerned about the cases, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan chaired a high-level virtual meeting and has directed these eight States to focus all efforts on reducing COVID-19 mortality as these areas are reporting maximum caseload and higher Case Fatality Rate (CFR) than the national average.
“These 13 districts in eight states/UTs account for nearly per cent of India’s active cases and about 14 per cent of COVID deaths. Presently, the national CFR is 2.04 per cent. They also report low tests per million and high confirmation percentage. A surge has been observed in the daily new cases in four districts viz. Kamrup Metro in Assam; Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh; Thiruvananthapuram and Alappuzha in Kerala,” a senior health ministry official said.
According to the official at the health ministry, states reporting high COVID-19 related deaths need optimal utilisation of resources to improve clinical management.
Several critical issues were discussed in the meeting like reducing case fatality rate, optimum utilisation of testing laboratories, ensure timely referral and hospitalization of patients, robust ambulance transportation network with oxygen facility and make advance preparedness for infrastructures such as ICU beds, oxygen supply etc., based on the prevailing caseload and the estimated growth rate.
The need to ensure monitoring asymptomatic cases under home isolation with special focus on physical visits/phone consultation on a daily basis was underscored.
States were asked to participate in virtual sessions held by AIIMS doctors (Delhi) who provides guidance on effective clinical management of COVID-19 patients to reduce the case fatality rate.
Another major area highlighted was that of preventable deaths by strict surveillance among the high-risk population like people with co-morbidities, pregnant women, the elderly and children.