Bengaluru: Union Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba has asked all states and Union Territories to formulate a containment plan as part of their strategy to deal with the spread of coronavirus and ensure its effective implementation on ground to avoid community transmission stage. The lockdown period provides the country a window of opportunities to act positively and be prepared to face any eventuality, Gauba told chief secretaries of all states and UTs through video conference.

"Next few days will be very important for all and we need to sustain our containment efforts and utilize all available resources as per the requirement," he said.

He asked district surveillance and rapid response teams to be fully alert and functional to ensure that every suspect is traced and tested without any loss of time.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary B V R Subhramanyam, Financial Commissioner Health Atal Dulloo, Principal Secretary Dheeraj Gupta, Jammu Divisional Commissioner Sanjiv Verma attended the meeting, an official spokesperson said.

Gauba asked states and UTs to prepare a containment plan keeping in view the situation in their respective regions so that effective measures are taken in time to fight COVID-19.

He lauded the efforts of district collectors in managing the situation and asked them to undertake containment activities in their respective districts.

Emphasising on aggressive tracing, testing exercise and putting people in isolation and quarantine to control further spread in communities, he said "our priority should be saving lives of people and that can be done only if we implement the action plan seriously".

The death toll due to the novel coronavirus rose to 83 and the cases climbed to 3,577 in the country on Sunday after 505 new infections were reported in the past 24 hours, according to the Union Health Ministry.