The strategy for effective containment and management of the COVID pandemic includes a significant increase of testing

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Saturday chaired a high-level review meeting with Additional Chief Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and Secretaries of 12 states, Municipal Commissioners and District Collectors of 46 districts most affected by rising cases and rising mortality because of Covid-19.

During the meeting, the Union Health Ministry laid down a five-fold strategy for adoption by the States and UTs for effective containment and management of the COVID pandemic, which includes a significant increase of testing in all districts, effective isolation and contact tracing, re-invigoration of public and private healthcare resources, ensuring of Covid-appropriate behavior and targeted approach to vaccination in districts reporting large numbers.

States were asked to focus on universalization of vaccination in the specified priority population age groups as an aid to containment strategy in districts where maximum cases are being reported.

It was reiterated that there is no shortage of vaccines. States must optimally utilize all vaccination capacities within the public and private sectors in all districts, and make full use of the available vaccine stocks without keeping a buffer stock in anticipation of a shortage.

The four GMSD depots at Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata and Karnal have the requisite buffer stocks and all requirements of States, based on their daily consumption and available stocks, are being met.

States were also asked to make advance planning of logistics and infrastructure management for 1-1.5 months as any unchecked spread of infection among the community may overwhelm the local administration. Re-appropriation of unused vaccine stocks in a district to focus on the high burden districts was also suggested.

The meeting comes at a time when six States, Maharashtra, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh have continued to report a surge in the COVID daily new cases. 79.57% of the new cases are reported from these 6 states.

In the last 24 hours, 62,258 new cases were registered. Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 36,902 followed by Punjab with 3,122 while Chhattisgarh reported 2,665 new cases.

India’s total Active Caseload has reached 4,52,647. The present active caseload now stands at 3.8% of India’s total Positive Cases. A net incline of 31,581 cases recorded from the total active caseload in the last 24 hours.

Maharashtra, Kerala and Punjab cumulatively account for 73% of the total active cases in the country.

On the other hand, the total vaccination coverage in India has crossed 5.8 crore mark.
According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, more than 5.81 crore (5,81,09,773) vaccine doses have been administered through 9,45,168 sessions, as per the provisional report till 7 am today. These include 80,96,687 HCWs (1st dose), 51,44,011 HCWs (2nd dose), 87,52,566 FLWs (1st dose) and 35,39,144 FLWs (2nd Dose), 61,72,032 beneficiaries aged more than 45 years with specific co-morbidities (1st Dose) and 2,64,05,333 beneficiaries aged more than 60 years.

Eight States account for 60% of the cumulative vaccine doses given so far in India. Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat have crossed the benchmark of 5 million vaccinations.

As on Day-70 of the vaccination drive (26th March, 2021), total 26,05,333 vaccine doses were given. Out of which, 24,25,146 beneficiaries were vaccinated across 43,281 sessions for 1st dose and 1,80,187 HCWs and FLWs received 2nd dose of vaccine.

India’s cumulative recoveries stand at 1,12,95,023. The national Recovery Rate is 94.84%.

According to the Health Ministry, 30,386 recoveries were registered in the last 24 hours.

Maharashtra has reported the maximum number of single day recoveries with 17,019 newly recovered cases.

Meanwhile, 291 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.

Five States account for 75.6% of the new deaths. Maharashtra saw the maximum casualties (112). Punjab follows with 59 daily deaths.

Fourteen States/UTs have not reported any COVID19 deaths in the last 24 hours.

These are Assam, Odisha, Puducherry, Ladakh (UT), Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haweli, Lakshadweep, Manipur, Tripura,Sikkim, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.