New Delhi, Jan 28 : Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Friday asked the southern states to focus on the 5-fold strategy of 'Test-Track-Treat-Vaccinate and Adherence to Covid Appropriate Behaviour' along with effective surveillance of cases which is crucial for Covid management.
Mandaviya reviewed the public health preparedness on Covid with state Health Ministers and senior health officials of eight southern states and UTs -- Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Puducherry, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, and Lakshadweep in the presence of Bharati Pravin Pawar, Union Minister of State for Health on Friday.
Puducherry Chief Minister N Rangaswamy was also present at the meet.
The states and UTs were advised to keep a close watch on the emerging clusters and hotspots.
States which have reported lower share of RT-PCR in Covid testing were advised to review the same.
Adequate and timely testing will help in prompt identification of the infected cases and prevention of a sudden surge, they were told.
"Mutual understanding, sharing best practices and collaborative spirit between the Centre and States have helped us in our fight against the pandemic," said the Health Minister, as he applauded the remarkable synergy between the Centre and the states during the video interaction with the states.
"India's Covid-19 vaccination drive is a global success story, especially for such a populous country like ours," said Mandaviya.
To give a further boost to the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive, we have now started the Precaution Dose and the vaccination for the 15-18 years age group from this month, he added.
He noted that more than the projected requirements of doses of both vaccines were provided to the states and UTs.
The Health Minister also advised the states to focus on ramping up opening of more tele-consultation centres as part of the Hub and Spoke Model for better public health management.
"The tele-consultation centres will help us not only during Covid pandemic but also for non-Covid medical care," he said.
While talking about the ECRP-II package under which the funds have been provided to states and UTs, and need to be utilised before March 31, Mandaviya said that while some states have expedited effective utilisation of the approved funds for health infra creation, other states may also review the physical and financial progress under ECRP-II and expedite the progress.
He assured the states of all support from the Centre in their efforts for Covid response and management and urged them to provide data on time for efficient policy making.
The State Health Ministers who joined the high level review meeting included K Sudhakar from Karnataka, Veena George from Kerala, Ma Subramaniam from Tamil Nadu and Thanneeru Harish Rao from Telangana.
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