The Centre on Friday directed the States to focus on containment, testing and contact-tracing, upgrade of health infrastructure, clinical management and community engagement for effective management of coronavirus (COVID-19).

“States were asked to also pay special attention to the emerging epicentres and undertake stringent containment measures to check the spread of the virus,” according to a release from the Health Ministry. The States were told that house-to-house surveillance through special teams in containment zones was critical for early detection of cases.

“They were requested to expedite upgrade of hospital infrastructure so as to manage the cases as per projections, besides ensuring sufficient logistics (for example, pulse oximeters) and trained human resources (doctors, staff nurses and non-clinical staff),” the release said.

The Ministry underscored that preventive measures were extremely important especially for vulnerable sections of the population such as the elderly and patients with co-morbidities.

Limiting social gatherings, avoiding crowded places, wearing a mask, washing hands and maintaining safe distance are among the measures reiterated by the government.

The Indian Council of Medical Research said it had further increased the testing capacity. “A total of 877 laboratories are operational (637 government laboratories and 240 private laboratories) in the country. 1,50,305 samples were tested in the last 24 hours. A total of 53,63,445 samples has been tested thus far,” it said.

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