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Need to be on alert and be prepared against new and emerging strains of COVID-19 virus, says Indian Health Minister amid JN.1 spike

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Need to be on alert and be prepared against new and emerging strains of COVID-19 virus, says Indian Health Minister amid JN.1 spike
Need to be on alert and be prepared against new and emerging strains of COVID-19 virus, says Indian Health Minister amid JN.1 spike

Indian Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday (December 20, 2023) chaired a high-level assembly to evaluation the COVID-19 state of affairs in India and the preparedness of public well being system for surveillance, containment and administration of COVID-19 in view of the current spike in coronavirus instances in some states.

He was joined by Prof. S P Singh Baghel and Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar, Union Ministers of State for Health and Family Welfare. Dr V Okay Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog was additionally current.

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 Indian Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya high-level assembly to evaluation the COVID-19 state of affairs in India. Photo Courtesy: PIB

Underlining the problem posed by the rising quantity of COVID-19 instances in some international locations internationally reminiscent of China, Brazil, Germany and United States, the Union Health Minister famous the significance of being prepared and remaining alert against new and emerging strains of COVID-19, particularly in view of the upcoming festive season.

Underlying and reiterating that COVID will not be over but, he requested states to monitor emerging proof of COVID-19 instances, signs and case severity to plan acceptable public well being responses.

Mandaviya careworn the necessity for collective efforts between the central and state governments to take care of the emerging state of affairs within the spirit of “Whole of Government” method.

He directed for strengthening the surveillance system for entire genome sequencing of constructive case samples to observe the variants via the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) community to guarantee well timed detection of newer variants circulating within the nation.

This would facilitate endeavor of acceptable public well being measures in a well timed method, he famous. States/UTs have been requested to ramp up testing and refer massive numbers of samples of COVID-19 constructive instances and pneumonia-like sickness to INSACOG Genome Sequencing Laboratories (IGSLs) on a every day foundation, for sequencing, to observe new variants, if any.

The Union Health Minister urged all of the states to stay alert, enhance surveillance and guarantee sufficient inventory of medicines, oxygen cylinders and concentrators, ventilators and vaccines,

He requested officers to undertake mock drills each three months at each the Central and State ranges to assess performance of PSA vegetation, Oxygen concentrators and cylinders, ventilators, and so forth., and inspired the sharing of finest practices.

He additionally urged states to create consciousness on respiratory hygiene and guarantee dissemination of factually appropriate data and counter faux information to handle infodemic and mitigate any panic.

The Union Health Minister urged States/UTs to share data on instances, exams, positivity and so forth., in actual time on the COVID portal to allow well timed monitoring and immediate public well being measures. He assured the states of all help from the Centre.

Through a presentation, Shri Sudhansh Pant, Secretary, Union Health Ministry briefed the Union Health Minister on the worldwide COVID19 state of affairs and the home state of affairs. It was knowledgeable that whereas energetic COVID instances in India are considerably much less in contrast to the worldwide state of affairs, within the final two weeks there was a steep rise in energetic instances from 115 on sixth Dec 2023 to 614 on date. It was additionally famous that 92.8 p.c of the instances are home-isolated, indicating delicate sickness.

No enhance in hospitalisation charges have been witnessed due to COVID-19, the instances which can be hospitalised are due to different medical situations – COVID-19 is an incidental discovering. An increase in every day positivity charge has been noticed in just a few states like Kerala, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Karnataka.

On the new JN.1 variant of SARS-CoV-2, it was knowledgeable that the variant is at the moment below intense scientific scrutiny, however not a trigger of instant concern. No clustering of instances has been noticed in India due to JN.1 and all of the instances have been discovered to be delicate and all of them have recovered with none issues.

V Okay Paul reiterated the necessity for a whole-of-government method to deal with the problem posed by the surge in COVID instances and the emergence of a new variant. He knowledgeable that the scientific group in India is carefully investigating the new variant however careworn on the necessity for states to ramp up testing and strengthen their surveillance programs.

Rajiv Bahl, Secretary, Department of Health Research and DG, ICMR, knowledgeable that ICMR is at the moment working on genome sequencing of the new JN.1 variant.

He urged states to monitor the COVID-19 state of affairs and enhance RT-PCR exams however famous that there is no such thing as a trigger for panic.

State Health Ministers appreciated the help and steering obtained from the central authorities.

They assured to enhance testing and surveillance measures in view of the rising instances in some states.

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