Mandaviya reviews status of COVID-19 in India as Omicron variants emerge in other countries
New Delhi, October 18, 2022
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya today directed officials to continue to focus on surveillance across the country against COVID-19 in the wake of the emergence of Omicron variants and the consequent steep rise in cases in other countries.
Chairing a high-level meeting here to review the status of COVID-19 in the country, he stressed the need to undertake adequate testing (with higher proportion of RTPCR) and effective surveillance to assess and control the spread of infection in a timely manner.
In particular, he called for surveillance through sentinel sites, including monitoring of severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and influenza-like illnesses (ILI) and for Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) to scan for any possible mutation in the wake of identification of Omicron variants in other countries.
He also urged officials to closely monitor hospitalizations due to COVID19. He exhorted them to increase the pace of vaccination including precautionary dose to eligible beneficiaries.
The Minister emphasized the need to undertake adequate testing (with higher proportion of RTPCR) and effective Covid-19 surveillance to assess and control the spread of infection in a timely manner.
Mandaviya stressed the need to monitor the points of entry. He also highlighted the need for community awareness for continued implementation of the Covid-Appropriate Behaviour (CAB), especially in view of the approaching festival season.
The meeting was attended by Dr. Ajay Kumar Sood, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government, S Aparna, Secretary (Pharmaceuticals) and Dr. Rajiv Bahl, DG, ICMR, and other public health experts and officials.
Dr. V. K. Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog was also present during the meeting.
Lav Agarwal, Additional Secretary (AS), MoHFW, made a detailed presentation on the global scenario of a surge in COVID cases, primarily in Europe, and an analysis of various Omicron variants in the world. The presentation included a detailed analysis of the COVID19 situation in the country with trend of Covid-19 cases; daily cases being reported, active cases, case positivity and testing status along with state-wise weekly tests per million including share of RT-PCR in tests conducted.
Manohar Agnani, AS, MoHFW, gave a presentation on the current status of vaccination in the country, availability of vaccines, state-wise analysis of vaccine administration and highlighted the slow pace of administration of precautionary dose in the country.