Hindustan Times (East UP)

Ramp up testing, hospital infrastruc­ture: Centre advises UTs

- HT Correspond­ent letters@hindustant­imes.com

NEW DELHI: Union home secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla and Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Tuesday reviewed the Covid-19 situation in all Union territorie­s and asked the administra­tions to augment the testing and hospital infrastruc­ture in advance for the next three weeks.

The high-level review meeting to review and discuss the Covid-19 status and the management and response strategy with chief secretarie­s of all UTs was held through video-conference, which was also attended by Dr VK Paul, Member (Health) NITI Aayog, Dr Balram Bhargava, director general, ICMR, as well as chiefs of police of all UTs.

Bhalla pointed out during the meeting the steep growth in the number of cases all across the country – from 20,000 cases reported on January 1, India has almost 10 times more cases (more than 200,000 cases) being reported daily since April 15. In the last 11 days alone, new cases have almost doubled from about 131,000 reported on April 9 to about 273,000 reported on April 20, according to a statement issued by the Press Informatio­n Bureau.

During their presentati­on, the Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir and Lakshadwee­p administra­tions pointed to the rise in cases due to large numbers of inbound travellers. Lakshadwee­p has seen a sudden spike after April 14, primarily due to the travel of large number of people to the mainland to shop for the recent festive occasions. Most UTs have imposed movement restrictio­ns, including night curfew and restrictio­n of intra-island movement in the island UTs.

Chandigarh said it was conducting door-to-door counsellin­g for increasing vaccinatio­n and 90% of the patients are in home isolation who are being monitored by mobile teams.

Delhi, according to PIB, discussed shortage of beds and the present efforts to augment this through central government infrastruc­ture and support through the DRDO’s recently operationa­lised Covid-19 hospital.

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