PATNA

Ramp up Covid tests in Bihar: CM Nitish Kumar | Patna News

PATNA: CM Nitish Kumar on Saturday asked the health department officials and all district magistrates (DMs) to ramp up testing and vaccination and keep a close watch on people returning home from other states either by train, bus or flight for the forthcoming Holi festival, keeping in view the surge in Covid-19 cases in some parts of the country.
Reviewing the Covid-19 scenario in Bihar at a high-level meeting, the CM told the officials: “Ensure Covid testing of passengers arriving at railway stations, bus stands and airports in the state. Keep proper information about their ‘travel history’ and alert people who are likely to come in their contact.”
Nitish also said at least 70% of the testing in the state should be conducted through RT-PCR method. “The report of the RT-PCR test should be provided to the person concerned within 24 hours,” he asserted.
“Expedite inoculation of all heathcare and frontline workers and police personnel. Ensure that no health or frontline worker is left out,” he said and ordered vaccination of all pensioners in the state.
Nitish said schools in the state would remain open. “The fresh surge in Covid-19 cases has so far not taken such an alarming proportion in Bihar that schools should be closed,” he said and asked the education department officials to ensure arrangement of all necessary facilities in the schools. Education minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary and additional chief secretary (education) Sanjay Kumar were also present at the meeting.
Nitish specifically asked the senior officials not to issue only “directions” to subordinates, but also ensure “timely execution” of the government orders. He urged the people to follow the Covid guidelines, use mask and maintain social distance.
Making a presentation on the status of Covid-19 in Bihar, health department’s principal secretary Pratyaya Amrit said, “Bihar’s average recovery rate is 99.24% against the national average of 96.26%. Average death rate (due to Covid) in Bihar is also 0.59% only compared to 1.38% at the national level,” Amrit said.
He further said 2,30,58,747 people were tested for Covid in the state till March 19 this year and an average 1,80,570 tests were being conducted on every 10 lakh population in Bihar.
Amrit assured the CM that all necessary preparations had been done in the wake of recent surge in the Covid-19 cases.
The DMs of Patna, Gaya, Munger, Bhagalpur, Madhubani, Saharsa, Muzaffarpur, East Champaran, West Champaran, Rohtas and Saran (Chhapra) informed the CM about the number of testing centres, active cases, micro containment zones, health institutions and status of vaccination in their respective districts.
State’s health minister Mangal Pandey, chief secretary Arun Kumar Singh and other senior officials were present at the meeting.

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