Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday reviewed the COVID-19 situation in the country in the wake of sudden spurt in cases of coronavirus infection in many parts of the world. He told the people to wear masks and get vaccinated while behaving in a Covid-friendly manner.
He directed the officers to be vigilant and strengthen the surveillance system. In a tweet, Mandaviya said, “Reviewed the situation with experts and officials today in view of the increase in cases of COVID-19 in some countries. Covid is not over yet. I have asked all concerned to be vigilant and increase vigilance. We are ready to deal with any situation.
The meeting was attended by Secretaries of Health Department, Department of Pharmaceuticals, Department of Biotechnology and Department of AYUSH, Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Rajeev Behl, Member (Health) of NITI Aayog Dr. VK Paul and National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NTAGI). President Dr. NK Arora also participated.
After the meeting, Dr. VK Paul said that only 27-28 percent of Indians have taken the preventive dose of the Covid-19 vaccine so far. He said that people should get vaccinated and masks should be worn in crowded places. Paul requested people not to panic and also informed that the guidelines for international air travel have not been changed yet.
People should wear masks in crowded places, especially people with co-morbidities and the elderly, Paul said. He said that the government will call a meeting next week also to review the situation. In view of the rise in cases in Japan, USA, South Korea, Brazil and China, Mandaviya underlined the importance of being vigilant and always prepared against the new variant of the COVID-19 virus.
He called for strengthening the surveillance system for Whole Genome Sequencing of COVID positive samples, so that if there is any variant of COVID-19 in the country, it can be identified in time through the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG). Can be done
The Minister was apprised in the meeting that the virus infection is on the decline in India and the average number of new cases of COVID-19 has come down to 158 in the week ending December 19, 2022. However, the average daily case of Covid-19 is increasing globally for the last 6 weeks. In the week ending December 19, 2022, an average of 5.9 lakh new cases of Covid-19 were registered in the world.
In a statement issued by the Union Ministry of Health, it was said that the reason for increasing Covid-19 infection in China is the BF.7 variant developed from its Omicron variant. It was informed during the meeting that Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana and Tamil Nadu are at the forefront in terms of new cases of Covid-19, but overall Covid-19 cases are decreasing in the country. According to the report released on December 20, 2022 in the country, the share of these 5 states was 84 percent in the daily new Covid-19 cases.