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'Sub optimal containment zone, skewed RT PCR ratio, manpower shortage' feedback from Health Central team after Maharashtra visit

ANI | Updated: Apr 11, 2021 22:17 IST

By Sahil Pandey
New Delhi [India]. April 11 (ANI): Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan has written to Maharashtra government after the feedback from the Central team which visited the state to take the stock of the surge in cases of Covid-19.
In his letter, Rajesh the health secretary pointed out that containment operations sub-optimal in Satara, Sangli and Aurangabad, with less than satisfactory perimeter control, lack of active surveillance for Influenza like illness (lLl)cases.
"Containment operations were found to be sub-optimal in Satara, Sangli and Aurangabad, with less than satisfactory perimeter control, lack of active surveillance for lLl cases. Efforts at surveillance and contact tracing were found to be sub-optimal in Buldhana, Satara, Aurangabad and Nanded, mostly due to limited manpower engaged in this task. The team from Bhandara has reported that most cases are being reported from outside of containment zones. This requires increasing the areas of containment zone or notifying new Containment Zones," the health secretary stated.
Feedback on the testing capacity in Satara, Bhandara, Palghar, Amravwati, Jalna and Latur Districts is that it is already overwhelmed, resulting in delay in reporting of test results. The Central teams from Nanded and Buldana, have reported a very skewed RT-PCR/RAT ratio. Community resistance to COVID-19 testing has also been reported from Bhandara district.
According to the letter, talking about follow up with home isolation covid patients, it observed: "ln Bhandara and Satara a large percentage of COVID-19 patients are under home isolation, which requires rigorous follow up to minimize mortality. Such a follow up is not happening presently. lt was also observed that delayed reporting by patient to definitive treatment centers in Satara district is leading to large number of deaths within first 72 hours of hospital admission."
Central team also highlighted that cccupancy rates of available hospital bed capacity are very high in Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Nagpur and Nandurbar.

"Team to Aurangabad reported dependency of the District on neighboring districts for management of critical patients and critical care infrastructure upgradation thereon. Medical oxygen supply was found to be an issue in Bhandara Palghar, Osmanabad and Pune. Malfunctioning ventilators have been reported by teams from Satara and Latur Districts. Hospital level and District level oxygen planning must start without any delay, as per the guidance issued by this Ministry," the letter added.
Acute shortage of healthcare workforce has been reported by the teams from Aurangabad, Nandurabar, Yawatmal, Satara, Palghar, Jalgoan, Jalna Districts. Rostering of health care workers, hiring of contractual health workers need to be expedite.
The letter also noted that data management in Satara and Ahmednagar districts is faced with issues due to shortage of manpower.
Adherence to COVID appropriate behavior was found to be lacking by almost all Central teams that visited the Districts. This would require greater enforcement effort."
Talking about the vaccination stock, Bhushan said in the letter that Union Government has also taken note of issues related to vaccine availability and required action to augment the supplies based on available stock.
Union health Ministry deployed 30 Central teams to 30 most affected Districts in Maharashtra.
These teams have been tasked to work along with District Health Authorities on COVID-19 preparedness and response with a focus on testing, contact tracing and containment operations, COVID appropriate behaviour and its enforcement, Hospital infrastructure and availability of logistic and COVID vaccination progress. (ANI)