With the emergence of a new Omicron variant, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya emphasised the importance of community awareness for the continued implementation of the COVID Appropriate Behaviour (CAB), particularly in light of the upcoming festival season.
Earlier today, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya met with senior health officials to discuss the emergence of new Omicron sub-variants.
The health officials discussed the country’s COVID-19 pandemic situation, the status of the vaccination drive, and the global scenario of new COVID-19 variants.
Bureaucrat Lav Agarwal 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 COVID-19 situation in the country with the 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 a 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, and state-wise analysis of vaccine administration and highlighted the slow pace of administration of precautionary doses in the country.
To assess and control the spread of infection in a timely manner, the Union Health Minister emphasised the importance of adequate testing (with a higher proportion of RTPCR) and effective Covid-19 surveillance.
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 aftermath of the discovery of Omicron variants in other countries. He also urged officials to closely monitor COVID-19-related hospitalizations.
He exhorted to increase the pace of vaccination including precautionary doses to the eligible beneficiaries.
The meeting was attended by Ajay Kumar Sood, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Govt, S Aparna, Secretary (Pharmaceuticals), Rajiv Bahl, DG ICMR; along with other senior officials of the Health Ministry.