April 20, 2024

India reviews Covid-19 situation; mask mandate should continue


NEW DELHI: India’s Health and Family Welfare Minister  Dr Mansukh Mandaviya today chaired a meeting with public health experts and officials to review the COVID19 pandemic situation in the country, status of vaccination drive and the Global scenario of new variants of Covid-19.Dr. V K Paul, Member (Health) NITI Aayog was also present during the meeting.

Lav Agarwal, AS (MoHFW) made a detailed presentation on global scenario of surge in COVID cases, primarily in Europe and an analysis of various Omicron Variants in the world. The presentation included a detailed analysis of COVID19 situation in the country with trend of Covid-19 cases; daily cases being reported, active cases, case positivity and testing status along with state-wise weekly tests per million including share of RT-PCR in tests conducted.

Dr. Manohar Agnani, AS(MoHFW) gave a presentation on the current status of vaccination in the country, availability of vaccines, state-wise analysis of vaccine administration and highlighted the slow pace of administration of precautionary dose in the country.

Union Health Minister stressed on the need to undertake adequate testing (with higher proportion of RTPCR) & effective Covid-19 surveillance to assess and control the spread of infection in a timely manner. Dr. Mandaviya directed the officials to continue to focus on surveillance across the country, particularly through sentinel sites including monitoring of SARI & ILI cases and on Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) to scan for any possible mutation in the wake of identification of Omicron variants in other countries. He also urged officials to closely monitor hospitalizations due to COVID19. He exhorted to increase pace of vaccination including precautionary dose to the eligible beneficiaries.

With the emergence of new Omicron variants, many countries are witnessing a steep rise in cases. Union Health Minister stressed on monitoring the points of entries. He also highlighted the need for community awareness for continued implementation of the Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) especially in view of the upcoming festival season.

The meeting was attended by Dr. Ajay Kumar Sood, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Govt, S Aparna, Secretary (Pharmaceuticals), Dr Rajiv Bahl, DG ICMR; along with other senior officials of the Health Ministry.


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