The teams have highlighted issues such as lack of RT-PCR testing facilities in certain districts and Covid containment measures and shortage of healthcare workers among others in these states.
The central government teams that were deployed to 50 districts across Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Punjab in view of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases have pointed out flaws in their methods to contain the raging pandemic that is witnessing a second wave in the country.
The teams have highlighted issues such as lack of RT-PCR testing facilities and Covid containment measures and shortage of healthcare workers among others in certain districts in these states.
In Maharashtra, containment operations were found to be sub-optimal in Satara, Sangli and Aurangabad, with less than satisfactory perimeter control and lack of active surveillance, according to a statement by the high-level multi-disciplinary public health teams.
They also said the testing capacity in several districts in the state is already overwhelmed, resulting in delay in reporting of test results. Adherence to COVID-19 appropriate behaviour was also found to be lacking by almost all the central teams that visited the districts.
The teams visited 30 districts of Maharashtra – which alone accounts for 48.57 per cent of the total active caseload of the country, according to the health ministry.
In Punjab, the teams, in their review of the nine districts that they were sent to, reported low rates of testing, lack of Covid care centres and dedicated hospital and shortage of healthcare workforce.
The teams also pointed at the slow pace of COVID-19 vaccination in Patiala and Ludhiana. This comes just a day after Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said the state had a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines and urged the Centre to ramp up the supply.
The teams have reported lack of perimeter control in containment zones in several districts of Chhattisgarh. They also reported instances of attack on healthcare workers and resistance to containment activities in a few districts.
“Resistance (even attacks on healthcare workers) to containment activities and testing was reported by the team from Dhaneli Village, Raipur. This needs to be addressed on an urgent basis,” said the report on Chhattisgarh, which is among the five states which account for 70.82 per cent of India’s active COVID-19 cases.
The Health Ministry has written to the concerned states about the feedback from the central teams.
These teams have been submitting daily reports on five aspects, including testing, contact tracing, hospital infrastructure, enforcement of Covid-appropriate behaviour and vaccination.
The centre has been deputing teams from time to time to visit various states and Union Territories as an ongoing effort to strengthen efforts for COVID-19 management.
The country recorded 1,52,879 cases in the last 24 hours, setting another grim one-day record as the country’s Covid tally reached over 1.33 crore cases. With 839 deaths in the last 24 hours, the total death count rose to 1.69 lakh.