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'Promote house-to-house survey across 38 districts in 10 states'

New Delhi: Concerned over the rising cases of Coronavirus, the Union Health Ministry has asked officials of 45 civic bodies across 38 districts in 10 states that are witnessing a surge in the number of cases to focus on house-to-house surveys, carry out prompt testing and undertake active surveillance measures to contain the infection and reduce mortality.

Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan, along with senior officers of the Health ministry, held a high-level review meeting, via video-conference, with the district collectors, municipal commissioners, superintendent of district hospitals and principals of medical colleges from 45 Municipal Corporations.

The 38 districts are from Maharashtra, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh.

Despite 34,000 less samples being tested by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in the last 24 hours, the record single-day spike of 9,983 cases raise doubts over the government's claim of no evidence of community transmission yet in the country. Notably, India recorded 9,000 plus Covid cases for the fifth day in continuation.

India, on Monday, registered a total of 2,56,611 cases out of which 1,24,430 have recovered; 1,24,981 are active and 7,200 have died due to the infection. In the last 24 hours, 271 more COVID-19 deaths have been reported.

With 5,137 fresh recoveries in a single day, the rate at which patients are being cured rose to 48.49 per cent, while the death rate slips to 2.80 per cent.

According to the ICMR, a total of 47,74,434 samples have been tested till date and 1,08,048 have been done in the last 24 hours.

"In view of the easing of the lockdown and lifting of curbs, states were advised to make a district-wise perspective plan for the coming months," the Union Health ministry said.

During the meeting, the issues discussed included the widespread infection in densely-populated urban regions, with areas that shared public amenities, the importance of house-to-house surveys, prompt testing, clinical management of cases and containment strategy which needed to be implemented, it said.

"The state officials were advised on the measures to be taken in the containment zones for case management and buffer zones surveillance activities and promotion of COVID appropriate behaviour," the ministry said.

To reduce the case fatality rate, the officials were briefed on measures that included prioritising high-risk and vulnerable segments such as the elderly people and those with co-morbidities while contact-tracing to prevent deaths.

They were also asked to focus on active surveillance measures, adequate testing and promoting health-seeking behaviour for timely detection of cases. They were also told to ensure timely shifting of patients without escalating the symptoms, the ministry said.

On-field governance, the municipal authorities were advised to take leadership and put the entire municipal infrastructure for containment measures using the 'whole of government approach'.

As many as 426 new positive cases were reported in the past 24 hours in Bengal, taking the total number of affected persons to 8,613 so far.

The total number of deaths on June 8 stands at 405 with at least nine persons dying in the past 24 hours.

9,024 sample tests have been done in the past 24 hours taking the total number to 2,80,098 till Monday. As many as 162 patients have been discharged in the past 24 hours.

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