New Delhi, October 10: After the emergence of new Omicron variant in India, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday stressed the need for community awareness for continued implementation of the COVID Appropriate Behaviour (CAB), especially in light of the upcoming festival season.
Earlier in the day, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and senior health officials had a meeting regarding the emergence of Omicron’s new sub-variants.
The health officials discussed the country’s Covid-19 pandemic situation, the state of the vaccination drive, and the global scenario of new Covid-19 variants.
Lav Agarwal, a bureaucrat, gave a detailed presentation on the global scenario of an increase in Covid-19 instances, mainly in Europe, as well as an analysis of various Omicron Variants around the world.
The presentation featured a complete analysis of the Covid-19 situation in the country, including the trend of Covid-19 cases, daily cases being reported, active cases, case positivity, and testing status, as well as state-by-state weekly tests per million, with a share of RT-PCR in tests conducted.
Manohar Agnani, AS (MoHFW) also gave a presentation on the current status of the Covid-19 vaccination drive in the country, the availability of vaccines, and state-wise analysis of vaccine administration, emphasising the government’s slow pace of administering precautionary doses.
The Union Health Minister emphasised the importance of doing adequate testing (with a larger proportion of RTPCR) and effective Covid-19 surveillance in order to assess and manage the spread of infection in a timely manner.
Mandaviya directed officials to continue focusing on surveillance across the country, 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 the discovery of Omicron variants in other countries. He also advised regulators to thoroughly monitor COVID-19-related hospitalizations.
He urged increased vaccination rates, including precautionary doses for eligible beneficiaries.
Ajay Kumar Sood, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government, S Aparna, Secretary (Pharmaceuticals), Rajiv Bahl, DG ICMR, and other key Health Ministry officials attended the meeting.