Union health min to review situation in country

New Delhi: Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya will review the COVID-19 situation on Wednesday in view of a new case in some countries like Japan, South Korea, Brazil, China and the US, official sources said.

The minister will review the situation of COVID-19 “taking into account the international scenario” at 11:30 am on Wednesday, they 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 Chairman National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) NL Arora and other senior officials they will go to the meeting.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry on Tuesday asked all states and Union territories to step up whole genome sequencing of positive samples to track new variants.

In a letter to states and UTs, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said the exercise will enable timely detection of new variants circulating in the country and facilitate the adoption of necessary public health measures.

He pointed out that India has been able to limit the transmission of the coronavirus by adhering to the five-fold strategy of trial vaccine treatment and proper anti-Covid behavior and is experiencing 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.

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