New Delhi: The Centre on Saturday (September 18, 2021) warned of the Serotype-II dengue cases and urged states to take necessary measures for the prevention and control of dengue and other vector-borne diseases. During the high-level meeting with states and UTs to check the COVID-19 situation, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan also highlighted the emerging challenge of Serotype-II dengue cases in 11 states which is associated with more cases and more complications than other forms of the disease.
As per the official statement of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Bhusan suggested the states undertake steps like early detection of cases, operationalisation of fever helplines and adequate stocking of testing kits, larvicides and medicines. The Union Health Secretary also recommended deployment of rapid response teams for prompt investigation and necessary Public Health Action like fever survey, contact tracing, vector control, alerting blood banks for maintaining adequate stocks of blood and blood components, especially platelets.
States were also requested to undertake IEC campaigns regarding helplines, methods of vector control, source reduction at homes and symptoms of dengue.
This is to be noted that states reporting serotype - II dengue cases include Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Telangana.
Earlier, the health ministry had also issued an advisory to these states in August and on September 10.
No room for any complacency
During the meeting, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba advised states and UTs to undertake granular analysis of the COVID-19 situation and augment infrastructure, medicine and human resource. He also reminded Chief Secretaries, Additional Chief Secretaries (Health), Principal Secretaries (Health), Municipal Commissioners, District Collectors and other senior officials of states and UTs that there is no room for complacency.
Gauba also stressed the need to strictly enforce COVID Appropriate Behaviour (CAB). Drawing examples from other countries that saw multiple peaks of COVID-19, he expressed concern over certain pockets in the country reporting high test positivity and advised the State Health administrators to undertake granular analysis of their COVID trajectory, ramp up their health infrastructure, undertake stocking of essential medicine and augment human resources at the earliest, to meet any potential surge in coronavirus cases.
70 districts cause of concern
The Health Secretary stated that 70 districts in 15 states are a cause of concern as 34 of these have positivity exceeding 10% and in 36 districts, the positivity is in the range of 5%-10%. In view of the forthcoming festival season, states were directed to ensure all necessary precautions and effective enforcement for the avoidance of mass gathering and congested closed spaces. They were directed to strictly follow existing guidelines regarding malls, local markets, and places of worship.
States were also urged to undertake effective IEC for the promotion of COVID Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) and COVID safe festivities. They were advised to closely monitor the case trajectories in all districts on a daily basis to identify early warning signals and ensure the imposition of restrictions and adherence to CAB.