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    PM Modi asks Bihar, Gujarat, UP, Bengal, Telangana to ramp up COVID testing

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    Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked five states—Bihar, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Telangana, to ramp up COVID-19 testing to trace the infected persons to halt the spread of the disease.

    He asked the chief ministers of 10 states, which accounted for 80 per cent of the total active cases in the country, to trace and test all those who have come in contact with an infected person within 72 hours.

    Modi on Tuesday held a meeting with the chief ministers of the 10 most affected states, viz, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Punjab, Bihar, Gujarat, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh, through a video-conference to assess the pandemic situation in the country. Karnataka was represented by the deputy chief minister.

    The prime minister recounted the experience of Home Minister Amit Shah in preparing a roadmap for tackling the pandemic in Delhi and neighbouring areas through segregation of containment zones and focus on screening, especially of those in the high-risk category.

    The chief ministers narrated their experience in tackling the crisis, including the number of tests being conducted, steps taken to increase testing, use of tele-medicine and efforts to ramp up health infrastructure. Many of the CMs also requested intervention of the Union health ministry for conducting sero-surveillance.

    Modi said almost 80 per cent of the currently active cases in India are from these participating states, and if the virus is defeated in these ten states, the entire country will emerge victorious in the battle against COVID-19.

    The PM noted that the number of daily tests has reached almost 7 lakh and is increasing continuously, which has helped in early identification and containment. The average fatality rate in the country is amongst the lowest in the world and is continuously going down.

    The Prime Minister underlined that there was a need to ramp up testing in Bihar, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Telangana.

    “People have become aware and are ably assisting these efforts, as a result of which, we have been successful in using home quarantine so effectively. The usefulness of the Aarogya Setu app has shown that if we are able to identify the cases in the initial 72 hours, then the spread of the virus can be slowed down”he said.

     He emphasised on the need to trace and test all those who had come in contact with an infected person within 72 hours.

    “This should be followed like a mantra, with the same earnestness as washing hands, maintaining do gaz doori, wearing masks,” PM said.

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