April 16, 2021 3:34:38 am
The centre had raised a “grant-in-aid” of Rs 304.16 crore for management and containment of Covid-19, as of March 31, for Gujarat, an affidavit filed by the central government in the Gujarat High Court that is hearing a suo motu PIL, said on Thursday.
It said a communication dated March 30, to principal health secretary Jayanti Ravi by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), had, among other issues, highlighted how Surat (rural) has recorded a test positivity rate of 31 per cent and was only “showing an increasing trend.”
The communication, by Rajesh Bhushan secretary at the health ministry, noted, “This unacceptably high positivity rate reflects the level of widespread infection. A micro-analysis needs to be done of any area showing high positivity during the past 4-6 weeks…Accordingly, all such areas should be targeted for increasing the testing exponentially while maintaining proportion of RTPCR tests above 70 per cent. The state should aim at achieving a positivity rate below five per cent in each district duly focusing on increasing the number of tests.”
On Thursday, of 1,864 positive cases in Surat, 313 were from the rural areas while 25 deaths were recorded in the municipal corporation limits and one in the rural limit..
As per the Centre’s affidavit, by an earlier communication to chief secretary Anil Mukim, from Bhushan, dated March 19, following a visit by a central team to Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and Vadodara Municipal Corporation between March 3 and 4, it was highlighted that, “The state needs to ensure that an increase in testing (as per ICMR guidance) should be coupled with a low confirmation percentage of less than five per cent. Further, maintaining the ratio of RTPCR vis-a-vis antigen test to 70:30 is the key. Hence the proportion of RTPCR tests need to be significantly increased.”
As per MOHFW data, the average share of RT-PCR tests between April 7 and 13 was only about 48 per cent of the total tests conducted in the week-long duration.
The communication also noted that at the time, Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot were contributing nearly 77 per cent to Gujarat’s Covid caseload. Hinting at uncoordinated management, the communication further noted, “During discussion with the District Collectors and Municipal Commissioners along with the district status presented during the VC (video-conference), it was observed that each district is implementing containment measures differently with a varied understanding of important surveillance aspects such as containment zone (CZ), defining the perimeter of CZ, number of contacts to be traced and quarantined and other surveillance concepts. It is imperative that the guidelines issued by MoHFW for an effective containment are followed in letter and spirit.”
“Some districts reviewed in the VC reported as high as 95 per cent cases outside the CZ. Some had a containment-home strategy with a large number of active case load. With the number of absolute cases reported in the state, it is absolutely critical to plan effective containment measures and implement them stringently….,” the communication said.
The affidavit said the Centre had provided eight Oxygen Concentrator plants were given to Gujarat of which six were delivered. Besides the centre had sent 98 oxygen cylinders were sent for delivery to “Central government hospitals in Ahmedabad”, apart from 13.08 lakh PPE kits, 25.42 lakhs N95 masks and 3,600 ventilators.
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