Home Secretary reviews steps taken by Kerala, Maharashtra for checking COVID-19 spread

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Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla. (File photo)
Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla. (File photo)

New Delhi [India], August 26 (ANI): Taking cognizance of COVID-19 cases soaring in Kerala and Maharashtra, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla on Thursday stressed on the need for "adequate intervention" in geographical areas having higher infection through measures such as contact tracing, vaccination drives and Covid appropriate behaviour.

Bhalla's direction came as he reviewed steps taken by state governments of Kerala and Maharashtra for checking the spread of COVID-19 virus. The Home Secretary chaired the meeting here through video conferencing.

During the meeting, the overall management of COVID-19 situation in Kerala and Maharashtra was discussed.

The Home Secretary reviewed the efforts being made by the state governments to contain the spread of infections and observed that more efforts would be required to arrest the increase in infections.

"This would require adequate intervention in geographical areas having higher infection, through measures such as contact tracing, vaccination drives and Covid appropriate behaviour," a Home Ministry statement said quoting as Home Secretary.

"He also suggested that the state governments should explore the possibility of placing night curfew in areas of high positivity," read the statement.

The state governments were advised that they should continue with their vaccination programmes and in case they required more vaccines, the same would be provided to the extent possible.

However, the Home Secretary directed, efforts must be made to consume the vaccine doses received. It was also emphasized that along with vaccination COVID appropriate behavior must also continue to be encouraged and events with potential of having mass gatherings during the coming festive season must be avoided.

It was also advised that testing must be ramped up in areas in the two states where positivity rates are being found to be on the higher side.

"Focus should also be placed over the next few months to suppress the levels of transmission of the virus so that the chain of transmission can be controlled more effectively," mentioned the statement.

The meeting was attended by Dr VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog; Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Director, National Centre for Communicable Disease (NCDC) and Chief Secretaries and Directors General of Police of Kerala and Maharashtra.

India's COVID-19 tally saw a major upward trend on Thursday with Kerala making the single-largest addition, followed by Maharashtra.

The unrelenting surges have the administration deeply worried even as the pandemic situation seemed to have improved considerably in most other states and Union territories.

Of the nationwide total of 46,164 new infections, Kerala's contribution was 31,445 and Maharashtra's 5,031. This corresponded to 3,33,725 active cases in India, 1,70,292 in Kerala and 50,183 in Maharashtra. (ANI)

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