By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 22 Dec: The Uttarakhand Government has taken the cognisance of rising Covid cases at the international level and of the guidelines issued by the Centre in this regard. After the CM chaired a meeting to review the Covid situation earlier, today, Health Secretary Dr R Rajesh Kumar and Director General Health Dr Shailaja Bhatt issued necessary instructions on the subject. An SOP was today issued by Dr R Rajesh Kumar in a letter issued to the administrations in all the districts.
At the same time, Director General of Health Dr Shailja Bhatt has also instructed the CMOs to send all corona infected samples for genome sequencing.
Dr Kumar also held a meeting in virtual mode with the Chief Medical Officers of all the 13 districts in the state regarding preparations for control of Covid-19. He observed that an increase in the number of Covid-19 patients has been registered in many countries of the world, such as Japan, United States of America, Republic of Korea, Brazil and China. He also stressed that the Covid pandemic still remains a worldwide public health challenge.
In the meeting, Kumar also observed that a continuous change in the form of Covid-19 virus had been observed and from time to time new variants have surfaced globally posing an even greater public health issue. Hence, in view of the constant possibility of new variants surfacing, it is important to monitor for new variants. In this sequence, for the early identification, isolation, testing and management of suspected and confirmed cases of Covid-19, the Government of India in June 2022 had issued guidelines called Operational Guidelines for Revised Surveillance Strategy. According to these guidelines, all District Magistrates and Chief Medical Officers are required to ensure preparation for prevention and control related to Covid-19 variants in their respective districts. Along with this, the general public will also be made aware that, while there is no need to panic in any way, it will still be necessary to strictly follow the guidelines given by the government from time to time.
Director General, Health, Dr Shailaja Bhatt, after holding a meeting of departmental officers, instructed the CMOs that genome sequencing of 10 percent samples of corona infected should be compulsorily done in order to detect any possible new strain of the virus. She observed that, at present, the old variant of Omicron Corona virus is dominant in the state and, so far, no new variant has been detected. But it has become necessary to keep an eye on the emerging situation and, therefore, genome sequencing would have to be taken up of more samples. At present the genome sequencing is being carried out at Doon Medical College, which has so far only found the Omicron’s old form active in the state. She added that, soon, genome sequencing would also be done at Almora Medical College. A lab is being set up for this. Presently, 12 government labs exist for covid testing. Apart from this, Covid tests are also being conducted in more than 30 private pathology labs across the state. At present, on an average, two to three infected cases are being reported daily. According to the report of the Health Department, 350 samples were tested across the state on Wednesday. Four people were found corona infected.
She observed, “At present the number of active patients is 29. On the basis of sample testing, the infection rate in the state is 1.14 percent and the recovery rate is 96 percent.”
The first case of corona in the state was found on 15 March, 2020, in Dehradun. Since then, more than 4.49 lakh people had been found to have come under the grip of corona infection in the state.
Of these, more than 4.31 infected became well, while 7,751 people died in the state due to Corona.
Secretary Dr Kumar said that the Central Government has so far given instructions to increase genome sequencing of the Covid infected. For this, all the districts have been asked to conduct genome sequencing of the samples found infected. As per the SOP issued today by Dr Kumar, the hospital authorities have been directed to register all patients reporting cold and influenza like symptoms on the Integrated Health Information Platform and get them tested for Covid. The authorities have been further asked to ensure Covid appropriate behaviour by the people in all public places, greater monitoring of foreigners landing in the state, to increase booster dose administration of Covid vaccines and to ensure adequate arrangements of oxygen supplies, ICU beds and other necessary medical facilities.