New Delhi: The Union government on Monday advised poll-bound states to ramp up COVID-19 vaccination of all eligible populations for the first dose and ensure that those due for the second dose are administered the same.
The poll-bound states were also asked to “exponentially increase” the testing to ensure that the infected are identified promptly for timely initiation of public health response measures, and there is no sudden upsurge in numbers due to low testing.
This comes as Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Monday held a high-level meeting with the five poll-bound states of Uttarakhand, Goa, Manipur, Uttar Pradesh, and Punjab to review the public health response measures for containment and management of COVID-19 along with the vaccination status in these states.
A health ministry statement informed that states have been asked to ensure that recommended COVID appropriate behavior is strictly followed and adequate measures are undertaken for their effective enforcement.
While Uttarakhand and Goa have reported vaccination coverage for the first and second doses higher than the national average, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Manipur have the coverage numbers below the national average, it stated.
It was mentioned that a total of 142.38 crore vaccination doses have been administered as on date, of which, more than 83.80 crore vaccine doses are for the first dose and more than 58.58 crore are second doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
“The states were advised to speedily ramp up the COVID19 vaccination of all eligible population for the first dose and ensure that those who were due for the second dose are administered the second dose,” the ministry wrote in the statement.
For this purpose, states are required to draw up district-wise weekly vaccination implementation plans. The state authorities were advised to review the implementation status on a daily basis.
“The poll-bound states were also advised to exponentially increase the testing to ensure that the infected cases are identified promptly for timely initiation of public health response measures, and to ensure that there is no sudden upsurge in numbers due to low testing. The state authorities were strongly advised to ensure that recommended COVID appropriate behaviour is strictly followed and adequate measures are undertaken for their effective enforcement,” the statement read.
The Union government continues to support the efforts of states/UTs towards management of COVID-19 pandemic under the ‘Whole of Government’ approach, it added.
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