With over 50 districts and municipal bodies spread across 15 states and union territories reporting a spurt in coronavirus cases, the Union Health Ministry on Tuesday said high-level central teams will be dispatched to assist local administrations in containment and management of the COVID-19 outbreak.
These multi-disciplinary teams will help the states and union territories address challenges like testing bottlenecks, low tests per million population, high confirmation rates, risk of capacity shortfall over the next two months, potential bed shortage, growing case fatality rate, high doubling rate and sudden spike in active cases, it said.
These states and Union Territories are Maharashtra (seven districts/municipalities), Telangana (four), Tamil Nadu (seven), Rajasthan (five), Assam (six), Haryana (four), Gujarat (three), Karnataka (four), Uttarakhand (three), Madhya Pradesh (five), West Bengal (three), Delhi (three), Bihar (four), Uttar Pradesh (four), and Odisha (five).
The districts and municipal bodies that are among the 50 high caseload areas include Chennai, Pune, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Surat, Jaipur, Darbhanga, Karimganj, Ujjain and Hyderabad, Faridabad and Delhi's north-west, central, west and north districts, officials said.
"The aim is to assist the state governments by providing technical support for containment and (to) facilitate management of COVID-19 outbreak," the ministry said in a statement.
With 9,987 fresh infections, India saw a record daily rise in COVID-19 cases for the seventh consecutive day on Tuesday. The country's tally stands at 2,66,598. The number of deaths due to the disease mounted to 7,466 as 266 more people died.
The three-member central teams will include two public health experts or epidemiologist or clinicians and a senior joint secretary level nodal officer for administrative handholding and improving governance, the ministry said.
The teams will visit the cities within the next one week to review public health measures being undertaken for COVID-19. The teams will submit at daily report of activities to State Health Department and the Union Health Ministry. They will inform them regarding any issue of urgent importance and also submit a report of its observations and suggestions before concluding the visit, it said.
Many districts and municipalities have already formalised a dedicated core team at the district level comprising of medical and administrative officials to coordinate on a regular basis with the central team.
(With inputs from PTI)