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Global Covid-19 Surge: Union Health Minister Discusses Public Health Preparedness

After the upsurge of Covid-19 cases in China, the Indian Government issues warnings and appraises the citizens to take precaution. Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya chaired a meeting, today, to discuss the Covid-19 situation of India and public health.

Stuti Das
Mansukh Mandaviya chairs meeting to discuss Covid preparedness today. (Picture Courtesy: Twitter @mansukhmandviya)
Mansukh Mandaviya chairs meeting to discuss Covid preparedness today. (Picture Courtesy: Twitter @mansukhmandviya)

Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare held a meeting today to discuss the preparedness of public health at the wake of surging Covid-19 cases around the globe, along with Covid surveillance, containment and management around the country. Positive Samples are advised to be sent to INSACOG labs to track any new variants.

Due to the sudden surge of Covid cases in China, Japan, South Korea, France, and the United States, the Union Minister held a review meeting to understand India's current public health scenario and its preparedness for the future. 

He emphasized the need of remaining alert against emerging strains, especially during the upcoming festive season. Affirming that Covid is not gone yet, he urged the citizens to follow Covid protocols in public spheres and to complete vaccination. 

Mandaviya instructed officials on building on vigilance to trace genome sequencing of positive case samples, in order to keep a tab on existing variants of the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) network to ascertain early detection of newer variants. All states and UTs have been informed to send positive tests to INSACOG Genome Sequencing Labs to be able to do the same. 

India has been witnessing a steady decline in cases with average daily cases falling to 158 in the week ending 19th Dec, 2022, added the Union Health Minister. However, the daily rise of 5.9 cases around the world, reported in the last 6 weeks are of serious concern. BF.7 strain of the Omicron variant, a new variant has been found to be the reason behind the uncontrollable hike in cases in China.  

“Operational Guidelines for Revised Surveillance Strategy in context of COVID-19”  has been issued by the Health Ministry in June 2022, which elaborates Covid protocols such as early detection, isolation, testing and timely management of suspected and confirmed cases.

Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, of Union Health Ministry issued a notice appraising states and UTs for cooperation and requested to take cognizance of the matter by stating, “India with its focus on the five-fold strategy of test-track-treat-vaccination and adherence to COVID Appropriate Behavior has been able to restrict the transmission of Covid-19 virus and is having around twelve hundred cases on a weekly basis. The Public Health challenge of Covid-19 still persists around the world with around thirty-five lakh cases reported weekly.”

Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Union Health Ministry, Prof. Ajay Kumar Sood, Principal Scientific Advisor, Dr. R S Gokhale, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Shri Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary, AYUSH, Dr Rajiv Bahl, Secretary, Department of Health Research, Dr Atul Goel, DGHS, Sh. Lav Agarwal, Additional Secretary, MoHFW and Dr N K Arora, Chairman of the COVID Working Group, National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) were present in the meeting.

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