He said that while the daily average of cases has come down, the caseload of active cases remains to be high in some states

“COVID Appropriate Behaviour is the most potent Social Vaccine,” Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan said while stressing upon the importance of Jan-Andolan initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in order to break the chain of transmission.

“Prime Minister’s latest address, only 10 minutes short, advocating COVID Appropriate Behaviour, aptly sums up the best available strategy to contain COVID,” he said.

The Health Minister today held a virtual review meeting with the Chief Ministers, State Health Ministers, Principal Secretaries and Additional Chief Secretaries of seven States though video conferencing. These States included Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura Meghalaya and Goa.

He said that while the daily average of cases has come down, the caseload of active cases remains to be high in some states and in some states, the death rate remains to be high.

Highlighting the state-specific areas of concern that would require focussed attention, the minister noted that although the active cases have come down in Maharashtra, it continues to have a large Active Caseload, with a high Fatality Rate of 2.6 per cent which increases to 3.5 per cent in and around Mumbai.

The case fatality ratio in Uttarakhand is higher than the national average at 1.64 per cent. Active cases are on the rise in the recent days in Manipur too, he noted.

In Goa, around 40 per cent of total deaths are recorded in just the last month, he said, calling it ‘a cause of worry.’ With 70 per cent of cases concentrated in Aizawl, Mizoram is seeing a further rise in active cases.

Apart from that, Tripura and Meghalaya are witnessing higher deaths in the active age groups between 45-60 years which are preventable, he said.

Dr Harsh Vardhan advised the States to focus on higher testing, especially in districts with higher positivity, mandatory testing of symptomatic negatives by RAT. The minister asked states to focus on high risk groups and vulnerable populations.

He also highlighted the importance of widespread IEC campaigns so that people in home isolation can reach hospitals in time for effective clinical management. He also indicated towards the need for higher testing in areas such as Bazaar, market places, work places, places of gatherings.

The meeting was attended by Uttarakhand Chief Minister T S Rawat, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope, Mizoram Health Minister Dr R Lalthangliana, Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Pratapsingh Rane, and Tripura Minister Law and Parliamentary Affairs Ratan Lal Nath.

The Chief Ministers and Health Ministers of states briefed him about the actions taken by them to contain, trace and treat COVID-19 positive cases.

The Uttarakhand CM stated that they have mounted a comprehensive multimedia IEC campaign for encouraging COVID appropriate behaviour. Challans have been given to 1.4 lakh for faulting on Social Distancing, and 4.5 lakh on mask negligence.

Similarly, Maharashtra Health Minister Tope informed about the 'My Family My Responsibility' campaign in the state of Maharashtra where house to house surveys and monitoring of home isolation cases were undertaken. Of the 5.7 lakh surveyed, 51,000 COVID19 positive cases were identified.

The Union Health Minister recently held review meetings with states of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Telangana, Punjab, Haryana and Kerala. He has also reviewed the COVID preparedness with Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Delhi.