Health Minister: ‘Follow COVID protocol or postpone Bharat Jodo Yatra’

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NEW DELHI: Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has written a letter to Congress MP Rahul Gandhi and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot asking to follow the COVID-19 guidelines strictly during the party’s Bharat Jodo Yatra.

“Follow the COVID guidelines strictly during Bharat Jodo Yatra which is going on in Rajasthan. Use of masks-sanitiser should be implemented. Only vaccinated people should participate,” the Health Minister said in the letter written on Tuesday.

Mandaviya has also requested to postpone the foot march if the following protocol is not possible.

“If following COVID protocol is not possible then the Bharat Jodo Yatra be postponed in the national interest, taking note of the public health emergency,” the letter further stated.

Reacting to the Union Health Minister’s letter to Congress, party MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, “I want to ask BJP did PM Modi follow COVID protocols during Gujarat Polls? I think Mansukh Mandaviya is not liking Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra but people are liking it and joining it. Mandaviya has been deputed to divert the public’s attention.”

Notably, the Yatra observed its last day in Rajasthan on Tuesday and entered Haryana today.

Mansukh Mandaviya, according to the sources will hold a meeting with senior officials and experts on the COVID-19 situation in the country today.

The physical meeting will start at 11:30, sources told ANI. He will also review meetings on Covid-19 situations in other countries.

ln view of the sudden spurt of cases being witnessed in Japan, USA, Korea, Brazil and China, it is essential to gear up whole genome sequencing of positive case samples to track variants through the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) network, writes Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan to States and Union Territories.

“All states are requested to ensure that as far as possible samples of all positive cases, on a daily basis, are sent to the designated INSACOG Genome Sequencing Laboratories (IGSLs) that are mapped to the States and UTs,” said Union Health Secretary.

Amid the rising COVID cases in China, a top Indian health expert on Tuesday cautioned the people while asking them to keep a close vigil on the situation in the country.

However, the expert said that there is nothing to panic about as the country’s system is “vigilant”.
The remarks were made by Dr NK Arora, Chairman of the COVID-19 working group NTAGI. (ANI)

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