Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya holds COVID-19 review meeting amid rising cases in China

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Image source: ANI. COVID-19: Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya holds review meeting as cases rise in China.

COVID-19 India Update: Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya held a meeting today (December 21) with senior officials and experts on the COVID-19 situation in India. The meeting started around 11:30 am in the state capital. Mandaviya has also reviewed meetings on coronavirus situations in other countries.

In view of the sudden increase in cases occurring in Japan, USA, Korea, Brazil and China, it is imperative to sequence the whole genome of samples of positive cases to track variants through the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG). online, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote to States and Union Territories on Tuesday.

“All the States are requested to send as many samples as possible, on a daily basis, of all the positive cases to the designated INSACOG Genome Sequencing Laboratories (IGSLs) mapped to the States and UTs,” the Union Health Secretary said.

Secretary Health, Department of Ayush, Department of Pharmacy and Department of Biotechnology, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director General Rajiv Bahl, Member NITI Aayog VK Paul (Health) and National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) Chairman NL Arora and other senior officials were at the Wednesday meeting.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan pointed out that India’s adherence to the five-pronged strategy of test-track vaccine treatment and proper anti-Covid behavior has been able to limit the transmission of the coronavirus and is now at around 1,200 cases. every week The public health challenge of COVID-19 continues globally with around 35 lakh cases being reported every week, Bhushan said.

“In view of the sudden number of cases observed in Japan, the United States of America, the Republic of Korea, Brazil and China, it is essential to prepare the whole genome sequencing of samples of positive cases to trace the variants through the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) network,” he said.

“In this context, all states are requested to ensure that samples of all positive cases are sent to the INSACOG Genome Laboratories mapped to states and UTs as much as possible, on a daily basis,” he added.

State of alert while cases are rising:

Amid rising cases of COVID in China, a top Indian health expert warned people on Tuesday (December 20) while asking them to pay close attention to the situation in the country. However, the expert said there is nothing to panic because the country’s system is alert.

The statements were made by Dr. NK Arora, the president of the NTAGI COVID-19 task force. “The important thing is to follow the situation in China very carefully. But I would say that there is nothing to panic. There is no need to worry. The system is very vigilant, we have to be. very vigilant. In terms of genomic surveillance, that’s part of what we’re doing is genomic surveillance of people with symptoms the most important,” he said.

Confident that India is ready to tackle the COVID situation, the expert said the country can take appropriate measures if a new sub-variant emerges.

“We are also doing waste surveillance and surveillance of hospitalized people and those coming to international airports. A proportion of samples are also randomly taken from them, if there is any new sub-variant or anything, that is, the concern is immediately picked up, appropriate action can be taken,” he said. said Dr. Arora. “So overall we see the situation in India is under control. But we have to maintain vigilance, especially for surveillance,” he added.

Dr. Arora also said that the exact situation of COVID in China is still unclear. “China was following the policy of Zero COVID and as we have recently learned from the media, they have relaxed this policy and after that, we are hearing that there is widespread COVID infection in that community with serious illnesses and diseases associated with death. But what is it. We really don’t know the situation. accurate,” he said.

According to the expert, the vaccine and hybrid immunity will be helpful in protecting the people of India from COVID. “With regard to India, there are three or four things we have to keep in mind. One is that India has a highly immunized adult population, especially with highly effective vaccines. In addition, there are several data points that indicate that more than 90 percent of our individuals have also contracted natural COVID infections. So the Indian population is immunized with what we call hybrid immunity. The third thing is that the INSACOG data shows that almost every sub-variant of Omicron that is found anywhere is also found in India on the other side of the world. So there are no sub-variants that are not circulating here. – many variations,” said one expert.

Meanwhile, the last Covid-19 fatality in Beijing, which was seeing thousands of positive Covid cases before the Zero Covid policy was rescinded, was on November 23. After that, China stopped reporting asymptomatic patients, a major part of the Covid count. The country also ditched the once-common Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing apparatus and instead used rapid antigen kits known to be slightly inaccurate. This indicated that the data had been altered or rendered meaningless, according to The Straits Times.

(with contributions from agencies)

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