Centre to depute team to Gujarat, fourth time since Covid outbreak

Gujarat health department officials said they have not yet received an official communication on the date of the visit and that it will be coordinated by Principal Health Secretary Jayanti Ravi.

The central health ministry on Thursday announced that it will depute a high-level team, led by National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) director, Dr Sujeet Kumar Singh, to Gujarat soon to take stock of the surging Covid-19 cases after Diwali. This would mark the fourth visit by a central team in Gujarat since the pandemic began.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare team “will visit the districts reporting high number of Covid cases and support the state’s efforts towards strengthening containment, surveillance, testing, infection prevention and control measures, and efficient clinical management of the positive cases,” stated a press release from the central ministry.

In October, at a meeting presided by Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, Singh flagged several districts in Gujarat reporting high test positivity rates, especially in the municipal corporations of Jamnagar and Junagadh. Surat rural, Vadodara Municipal Corporation and Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation were flagged as “borderline areas”.

Gujarat health department officials said they have not yet received an official communication on the date of the visit and that it will be coordinated by Principal Health Secretary Jayanti Ravi.

At present, Ahmedabad and Surat districts are reporting the highest number of cases per day. On May 9, AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria visited Ahmedabad when the district was reporting 250-290 cases per day.

On June 26, joint secretary at Union health ministry Lav Agarwal visited Ahmedabad. Guleria again visited Gujarat districts, including Surat, Vadodara and Ahmedabad, from July 17 to 18, along with NITI Aayog member VK Paul and others from central health ministry.

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