Mansukh Mandaviya reviews Covid-19 situation, emphasises on vaccination

Public TV English
Public TV English
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NEW DELHI: Amid the challenge posed by the increasing number of Covid-19 cases in some countries, including China, Japan, South Korea, France and the United States, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday chaired a high-level meeting to review the Covid-19 situation in India and preparedness of the public health system for surveillance, containment and management of Covid-19 .

He urged people to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour and get vaccinated against Covid-19. Emphasising that Covid-19 is not over yet, he asked the officials to be fully geared up and strengthen surveillance.

India has, in the past six months, reported four cases of the BF.7 Omicron sub-variant, which is driving the current surge of infections in China. Various states have also stepped up vigil.

During the meeting, the Union Health Minister was briefed on the global Covid-19 situation and the domestic scenario. He noted the importance of being prepared and remaining alert against new and emerging strains of Covid-19, especially in view of the upcoming festive season.

Mandaviya directed the officials to be fully geared up and strengthen the surveillance system for whole genome sequencing of positive case samples to track the variants through the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) network to ensure timely detection of newer variants, if any, circulating in the country.

“This will facilitate the undertaking of appropriate public health measures. States/UTs have been requested to send samples of all Covid-19 positive cases to INSACOG Genome Sequencing Laboratories (IGSLs) on a daily basis, for sequencing, to track new variants, if any”, the Health Minister said.

Dr V K Paul, Member, Niti Aayog, who was present at the meeting, said that only 27-28 per cent of people have taken precaution dose. He called upon people to wear mask in crowded places. “We appeal to others, especially senior citizens, to take the precautionary dose. Use a mask if you are in a crowded space, indoors or outdoors. This is all the more important for people with comorbidities or those of higher age”, Dr Paul said.

As a precautionary measure, the government has from Wednesday restarted random sampling of international passengers at airports across the country for Covid-19. “Random sampling of international passengers for Covid-19 has started at airports in the country from Wednesday”, a source said

Karnataka Health and Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar.

Karnataka Health and Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar said that measures have been taken to send samples for genomic sequencing to trace new variants as per the Centre’s guidelines. “We will have to take certain precautionary measures in the wake of the global situation. Karnataka has a high inflow of international passengers. We will start screening passengers there. While we have achieved 100 per cent coverage in two doses, the precautionary dose is yet to be taken by a lot of people”, he noted.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has called an emergency meeting on Thursday to review the preparations in view of the Covid-19 situation. Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, along with other senior officials of the Health Department, will be present in the meeting. Delhi reported five new Covid-19 cases and one death in the last 24 hours. The positivity rate is 0.19 per cent in the national capital.

Sources said there are currently 10 different variants of Covid-19  virus in the country, with the latest variant being the BF.7. “Various variants of Omicron are spreading in the country and the Delta variant can still be seen in the country”, a source said.

Sources said BF.7 cases were reported in India in July, September and November and there are four cases so far and added that three cases were reported from Gujarat and one from Odisha. They said more cases have not been reported and the infection has not been found to be strong.

Surat Municipal Commissioner Banchhanidhi Pani said a woman with a travel history to America was found BF.7 variant positive on November 18 in Vadodara. “She recovered after home isolation and her condition is normal. There is no need to panic, situations are under control”, the official said.

Maharashtra Health Minister Tanaji Sawant said that the government is full alert and no Omicron sub-variant BF.7 is found in the state. “Till now, no patient of Omicron sub-variant BF.7 has been found in Maharashtra. There is no need to fear. The government is fully alert. Passengers from BF.7 sub-variant affected countries will be tested. If any person is suspected with this variant, they will be immediately isolated”, he said.

Jharkhand Health Minister Banna Gupta said that the state government is prepared and alert for any kind of Covid-19 conditions in the state. “We have established 12,628 beds, 110 PSA plants and all other necessary equipment and infrastructure to deal with Covid-19”, he said.

The Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government has issued an alert across the state and stepped up preparedness. Sources said that Deputy Chief Minister Brijesh Pathak has instructed all the Chief Medical Officers of the state and officers of the Medical Education Department to increase vigilance. (ANI)

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