New Delhi: In view of the sudden rise in coronavirus cases in the United States, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Brazil, etc., India is gearing up to combat the potential outbreak in the country. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issued an alert on Tuesday (December 20) about the COVID-19 situation in other countries and directed all the states and union territories (UTs) to sequence all the positive case samples to track the variants through the SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) network.
The states have also been requested to ensure that they send the COVID-19 positive samples to the designated INSACOG Genome Sequencing Laboratories (IGSLs) that are mapped to the states and the UTs. The health ministry said that such an exercise will help detect any new variants on time and initiate public health measures for the same.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya will chair a high-level meeting on Wednesday (December 21) with senior officials and experts to review the COVID-19 situation in the country.
In view of the recent rising cases of COVID19 in some countries, Union Health Ministry has requested States/UTs to send samples of all #COVID19 positive cases to INSACOG labs to track new variants, if any.
Health Ministry and INSACOG are keeping a sharp watch on the situation. pic.twitter.com/ODLTkFwsdH
— Ministry of Health (@MoHFW_INDIA) December 20, 2022
Also Read: World Health Organization Hopes COVID-19 Will No Longer Be A Global Health Emergency In 2023
In a letter to Congress MP Rahul Gandhi and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, the union ministry has asked people participating in the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ organised by the Congress party to ensure they are vaccinated and follow safety measures like wearing masks.
Follow the COVID guidelines strictly during the Bharat Jodo Yatra, which is going on in Rajasthan. The use of masks and sanitisers should be implemented. Only vaccinated individuals should take part, the Health Minister stated in a letter dated Tuesday, December 20.
Mr. 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 should be postponed in the national interest, taking note of the public health emergency, the letter further stated.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya y'day wrote to Congress MP Rahul Gandhi & Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot.
Letter reads that COVID guidelines be strictly followed during Bharat Jodo Yatra & use of masks-sanitiser be implemented; mentions that only vaccinated people participate pic.twitter.com/cRIyZz0DLY
— ANI (@ANI) December 21, 2022
As of now, India is recording around 1,200 new infections in a week. Globally, some 3.5 million cases are being recorded every week. The country of nearly 1.4 billion people has administered more than 2.2 billion COVID vaccine doses.
Also Read: Wearing Masks, Covid-Appropriate Behaviour To Continue In Country: Official Sources
Coronavirus Surge Reported From Other Countries In The Last 7 Days
As per the World Health Organisation (WHO) report, Japan has reported 878,241 new COVID-19 cases in the last seven days, which is the highest globally. The Republic of Korea stood second in the list of countries having the highest number of infections, with nearly 461,473 new COVID-19 cases in the last seven days, followed by the United States with 445,428 new COVID-19 cases, France (381,587 cases), Germany (205,565 cases), and China (148,665 cases).
China has been witnessing a massive surge in the number of COVID-19 cases, especially after it dismantled its strict ‘zero-COVID’ policy. According to a Reuters report, the country had abruptly dropped its ‘zero-tolerance’ stance earlier in December, after protests against the COVID lockdowns aggravated.
Last week, on Wednesday (December 14), World Health Organization Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he is hopeful that in 2023, the COVID-19 pandemic will no longer be considered a global health emergency. In a media briefing, Dr Ghebreyesus recalled the trajectory of COVID-19 while sharing the current state of the pandemic and said,
One year ago, Omicron had just been identified and was starting to take off. At that time, COVID-19 was killing 50,000 people each week. Last week, less than 10,000 people lost their lives. That’s still 10,000 too many – and there is still a lot that all countries can do to save lives – but we have come a long way. We are hopeful that at some point next year, we will be able to say that COVID-19 is no longer a global health emergency.
COVID-19 infections were exploding in China well before the government’s decision to abandon its strict “zero-COVID” policy, a World Health Organization director told Reuters.
There’s a narrative at the moment that China lifted the restrictions and all of a sudden the disease is out of control. The disease was spreading intensively because I believe the control measures in themselves were not stopping the disease. And I believe China decided strategically that was not the best option anymore, Mr. Ryan said.
Also Read: Multidisciplinary Experts Across Countries Reach Consensus On Ending COVID-19 As Public Health Threat
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.