- US & EU should intensify measure to minimise community transmission: Lancet
- New variants are emerging in California, USA and in Brazil
- Mutant lineages might also reduce the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines
New Delhi: In an analysis, the Lancet COVID-19 Commission has called for three urgent actions in the COVID-19 response. First, all regions with high rates of new COVID-19 cases, including the USA and the European Union (EU), should intensify measures to minimise community transmission and deploy COVID-19 vaccines rapidly, read the Lancet medical journal in its latest publication.
Second, governments should urgently and fully fund WHO and the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, including COVAX. Third, the G20 countries should empower the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and multilateral development banks to increase the scale of financing and debt relief. Success on all three priorities–containment of transmission, rapid vaccination, and emergency finance – will require improved global cooperation, it said.
These Covid-19 appropriate actions have been called in view of high rates of community transmission of more than (>100 new COVID-19 cases per million per day) in the USA, Europe, South Africa, and other countries which show the emergence of new variants of SARS-CoV-2, for example, UK and South Africa. Additionally variants are emerging in California, USA and in Brazil.
New lineages are increasing transmission of infection and raising risks in regions that have been less affected by COVID-19, including in sub-Saharan Africa. Additionally, acquired immunity from earlier COVID-19 infections might be less protective against reinfection with some of the new SARS-CoV-2 variants. Mutant lineages might also reduce the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and require adapted vaccines or boosters.
The medical journal also pointed out that at least half of the world’s population lacks access to essential health services. Thus, strengthening community-based and gender-responsive health systems will be essential to implement inclusive and comprehensive COVID-19 immunisation campaigns. It also indicated that strong health systems that incorporate universal health coverage and community-based health workers are vital in the response to COVID-19, the journal said.
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NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. 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 highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. 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 become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.