New Delhi: With an intention to handhold states and ease their fight against the pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Wednesday hold a high-level meeting with Chief Ministers and Health Ministers of seven COVID high-burden states. The aim is to review preparedness of COVID response and management.
States of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Punjab will participate in this meeting.
These states account for 63 per cent of the total active cases and 65.5 per cent of the total confirmed cases. About 77 per cent of total COVID-19 fatalities have been also been reported from these states. Maharashtra and Delhi are not seeing a reduction in the case fatality rate which continues to be well above the two per cent mark.
The Centre has asked the states to strive to achieve CFR of less than one percent. While Punjab and Uttar Pradesh have positivity rates below the national average of 8.52 per cent, it is high in the other five states. Maharashtra, for example, has a positivity rate of above 22 per cent. Delhi's has dipped below 7 per cent but complaints of shortage of ICU beds have started to surface in the national capital. On Sunday, the cabinet secretary held a meeting with representatives of 12 states and Union Territories. This included the states Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Chandigarh, Telangana, Kerala, Delhi, Punjab and West Bengal. About 80 per cent of the COVID-19 caseload in the country is concentrated in these states and UTs.
The seven high burden states that the PM is looking at are the ones having a total case load among the highest in the country. Maharashtra has more than 12 lakh cases ever since the outbreak of the pandemic. Andhra Pradesh has over 6 lakh cases with the mortality rate of 0.9 per cent. Maharashtra's mortality rate is 2.7 per cent. Karnataka has had 5 lakh cases with a mortality rate of 2 per cent. UP has a mortality rate of 1.4 per cent. Punjab's is at 2.9 per cent and Tamil Nadu, too, has had over five lakh cases ever since the pandemic broke out. The mortality rate in the state is 1.6 per cent at par with the national average.
The states have been asked to also improve their capacity for oxygen therapy after various reports surfaced of poor oxygen availability in the country. The 12 states and UTs have been asked to ensure unhindered supply of oxygen, with the health ministry saying there is no shortage as such and it is boiling down to management of resources.