The Central teams deputed in Maharashtra to coordinate the response to the coronavirus pandemic have observed that containment operations were sub-optimal in Satara, Sangli and Aurangabad districts, says a report sent by the Centre to the state government. The teams found "less than satisfactory perimeter control and lack of active surveillance" in COVID-19 cases, the report sent by the Union Health Ministry said.
"Efforts at surveillance and contact tracing were found to be sub-optimal in Buldhana, Satara, Aurangabad and Nanded, mostly due to limited manpower engaged in this task.
The team from Bhandara has reported that most cases are being reported from outside of containment zones," the report said.
The report addressed to Maharashtra's Principal Secretary (Health) Pradeep Vyas, said the ministry has been actively engaging with the state government in coordinating and collaborating efforts towards preparedness and response to the pandemic.
The Centre has sent Central teams to the 30 most affected districts in Maharashtra and these teams are working with the district administration to understand the spread of COVID-19, provide support and supervision and suggest workable solutions to curb the spread, the report said.
The teams have been tasked to work with the district authorities on preparedness and response with a focus on testing, contact tracing and containment operations, COVID-appropriate behaviour and its enforcement, hospital infrastructure and availability of logistic and vaccination
progress, the report said.
"The testing capacity in Satara, Bhandara, Palghar, Amravati, Jalna and Latur districts is already overwhelmed, resulting in a delay in reporting of test results," the report said.
"The Central teams from Nanded and Buldhana have reported a very skewed RT-PCR/RAT ratio. Community resistance to COVID-19 testing has also been reported from the Bhandara district. ln Bhandara and Satara a large percentage of COVID-19 patients are under home isolation, which requires rigorous follow up to minimize mortality. Such a follow up is not happening presently," it said.
It was also observed that delayed reporting by patients to definitive treatment centres in Satara district is leading to a large number of deaths within the first few hours of hospital admission, the report said.
"Occupancy rates of available hospital bed capacity are very high in Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Nagpur and Nandurbar districts. The team to Aurangabad reported dependency of the district on neighbouring districts for management of critical patients and critical care infrastructure up-gradation thereon," the report said.
"Medical oxygen supply was found to be an issue in Bhandara, Palqhar, Osmanabad and Pune. Malfunctioning ventilators have been reported by teams from Satara and Latur districts. Hospital level and district level oxygen planning must start without any delay, as per guidance issued by the ministry," it said.
The Central teams also found an "acute shortage of healthcare workforce" in Aurangabad, Nandurabar, Yawatmal, Satara, Palghar, Jalgaon and Jalna districts.
It has suggested that rostering of health care workers and hiring of contractual health workers need to be expedited.
Data management in Satara and Ahmednagar districts is faced with issues due to the shortage of manpower, the report said.
Adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour was found to be lacking in almost all the districts which the Central teams visited.
(With PTI inputs)