NEW DELHI, DEC 22 – Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday chaired a high-level virtual meeting to review the COVID-19 situation and its related aspects in the county.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Health Miniter Mansukh Mandaviya and NITI Aayog Chief Executive Officer Parameswaran Iyer were among others who participated in the meeting.
The meeting comes a day after Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya reviewed the coronavirus situation in a meeting with high level officials. He urged people to follow COVID-appropriate behaviour and get vaccinated against the virus. Emphasizing that COVID-19 is not over yet, he asked the officials to be fully geared up and strengthen surveillance.
In the last six months, India reported four cases of the BF.7 Omicron sub-variant, which is driving the current surge of infections in China.
Sources said there are currently 10 different variants of Covid-19 in the country, with the latest being BF.7.
Earlier in the day, Health Minister Mandaviya said that the government has started random RT-PCR sampling among the passengers arriving at International airports in the country amid the recent surge of Coronavirus infection in various countries including China, Japan, South Korea, France, and the United States.
“We have also started the random RT-PCR sampling among passengers arriving at International airports in the country. We are committed to tackling the pandemic and are taking appropriate steps,” Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said in his statement in the Lok Sabha while advising the States to make sure that people wear masks, use sanitizers and maintain social distancing even during the festive and the New Year season.
He also encouraged the states to increase awareness towards precautionary doses against Coronavirus.
“We are keeping an eye on the global Covid situation and are taking steps accordingly. The States are advised to increase genome-sequencing to timely identify the new variant of Covid-19,” Mandaviya added.
He further said that the health department has been proactive in managing the Covid pandemic. The Centre has also provided financial assistance to States in the fight against the pandemic, he added.
“So far, 220 crore Covid vaccine shots have been given,” the Health Minister said. Mandaviya claimed that the number of Covid cases is depleting in India despite its surge across the world.
“From the last few days, Covid cases have been rising in the world but in India, the cases are depleting. We are seeing rising Covid cases and deaths due to it in China,” he said.
Mandaviya has already directed the officials to be fully geared up and strengthen the surveillance system for whole genome sequencing of positive case samples to track the variants through the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) network to ensure the timely detection of newer variants, if any, circulating in the country.
There has been an alarming surge in Covid cases in China, Japan, South Korea, France, and the United States. The spike is being blamed on the new Omicron sub-variant BF.7, which has also been detected in four Indian states.
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