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Central teams deployed in 50 districts, municipal areas with high Covid-19 case load

NEW DELHI: The Union government has deployed high level multi-disciplinary central teams in 50 districts or municipal bodies across 15 states with high Covid-19 case loads in order to help the local government by providing technical support for containment and facilitate management of COVID-19 outbreak.

The states where the central teams have been sent are in Maharashtra, Delhi, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Assam, Haryana, Gujarat, Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Delhi, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Odisha.

The country now has 2,66,598 confirmed cases of which 1,29, 917 are active ones while 7,466 patients have died.

The Centre, meanwhile, said that the three-member teams are composed of two public health experts – epidemiologists or clinicians and a senior joint secretary-level nodal officer for administrative handholding and improving governance.

These teams are working in the field and visiting health care facilities to support the state health department in the implementation of containment measures and efficient treatment and clinical management of cases within the districts and cities.

On Monday, in a meeting with local authorities of badly affected 45 municipal areas, Union health secretary Preeti Sudan had stressed on increasing testing, carrying out house to house survey to identify cases and better medical management of patients.

In a statement, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that in order to ensure better coordination and adoption of a more granular strategy, it is proposed that high case load districts should regularly remain in touch with central teams that are already coordinating with the states.

Such frequent interaction would further strengthen the surveillance, containment, testing and treatment-related action on the ground, the statement said.

The teams are specifically assisting the states in addressing the challenges like testing bottlenecks, low tests per million population, high confirmation rates, risk of capacity shortfall over the next two months, potential bed shortage, growing case fatality rate, high doubling rate, a sudden spike of active cases, etc.

Many districts have already formed special core teams comprising of district-level medical and administrative officials to coordinate with the central teams.

In a meeting of the group of ministers on Covid-19, Union health minister Harsh Vardhan presented a status update of the outbreak in the country and reiterated on the need for physical distancing and preventive measures such as wearing the mask and frequent handwashing.

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