Stepping up the fight
#GS2 #Health #Governance
With the identification of 10 COVID-19 “hotspots” in different parts of the country, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has scaled up its fight against the virus.
- Two of these places, where the MoHFW will focus on an intensive containment strategy, are in Delhi — Dilshad Garden and Nizamuddin.
- Noida and Meerut in Uttar Pradesh, Mumbai and Pune in Maharashtra, Kasaragod and Pathanamthitta in Kerala, Ahmedabad in Gujarat and Bhilwara in Rajasthan will also come under the ambit of this strategy.
- The government’s plan, reportedly, is to implement “rigorous surveillance measures” in these areas.
- The salience of this move cannot be overstated, especially because India’s low rate of testing has led to fears of community transmission.
- The country’s healthcare authorities must now ensure that due procedures and protocols are followed in identifying coronavirus cases in the hotspots.
- The government, so far, has not announced any new protocol for testing in the 10 hotspots.
- It is unclear, therefore, just how it plans to bring an appreciable number of people in these areas under the ambit of its testing centres.
- Global experience, most notably of South Korea, has demonstrated the importance of transparent methods in the fight against COVID-19.
- As India intensifies its fight, healthcare officials must not lose sight of the imperative of building trust in the country’s healthcare system. They must take the people in the hotspots into confidence about their methods and protocols.