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Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya Reviews Covid situation; Mask Mandate Should Continue

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya reviewed the COVID-19 pandemic situation, the status of covid vaccination drive and the global scenario of new variants of Covid

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya Reviews Covid situation; Mask Mandate Should Continue
With the emergence of new Omicron variants, many countries are witnessing a steep rise in Covid cases

New Delhi: Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday (October 18) reviewed the Covid situation amid detection of cases of a new sub-variant of Omicron from parts of the country. The meeting concluded that wearing masks and following Covid-appropriate behaviour should continue, a health ministry statement said. With the emergence of new Omicron variants, many countries are witnessing a steep rise in Covid cases. During the meeting with public health experts and officials, Mr Mandaviya reviewed the pandemic situation, status of vaccination drive and the global scenario of new variants of Covid, it said.

The minister stressed on monitoring entry points, the statement said.

Also Read: Maharashtra Warns Of Covid Spike After New Variant Detected In India

Mr Mandaviya stressed the need to undertake adequate testing (with higher proportion of RTPCR) and effective Covid surveillance to assess and control the spread of infection in a timely manner. He directed officials to continue to focus on surveillance, particularly through sentinel sites including monitoring of SARI and 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, the statement said. He also urged officials to closely monitor hospitalizations due to Covid and urged officials to increase the pace of vaccination, including precautionary dose to eligible beneficiaries, it said.

Mr Mandaviya also highlighted the need for community awareness for continued implementation of Covid Appropriate Behaviour especially in view of the upcoming festival season. Additional secretary Lav Agarwal made a detailed presentation on the global scenario of surge in Covid cases, primarily in Europe and an analysis of various Omicron variants, the statement said.

Also Read: India’s Covid Vaccination Is Not Over Yet, Government Still Has Stock Of 3 Crore Vaccines

The presentation included a detailed analysis of the Covid situation in the country along with trends — daily cases being reported, active cases, case positivity and testing status along with state-wise weekly tests per million including share of RT-PCR, it said. Additional secretary Manohar Agnani gave a presentation on the current status of vaccination in the country, their availability and state-wise analysis of vaccine administration while highlighting the slow pace of administration of precautionary doses.

The meeting was attended by Dr Ajay Kumar Sood, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Govt, S Aparna, Secretary (Pharmaceuticals), Dr Rajiv Bahl, DG ICMR, Dr V K Paul, NITI Aayog member (Health) and, Chairperson of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) N K Arora along with other senior officials of the Health Ministry.

Also Read: WHO Chief Scientist On Banega Swasth India Telethon: Key Learnings From COVID-19 Pandemic

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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 populationindigenous 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 (WaterSanitation 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 pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual 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.

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