New Delhi: Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya will review the COVID-19 situation on Wednesday in view of a fresh spurt in cases in some countries such as Japan, South Korea, Brazil, China and the US, official sources said.
The minister will review the COVID-19 situation at 11:30 am on Wednesday “considering the international scenario”, they said.
The secretaries of health and Ayush ministries, Department of Pharmaceuticals and Department of Biotechnology, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director General Rajiv Bahl, Member (Health) of NITI Aayog V K Paul and National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) Chairman N L Arora and other senior officials will attend the meeting.
Meanwhile, the Union health ministry on Tuesday urged all states and union territories to ramp up the whole genome sequencing of positive samples to keep track of newer variants.
In a letter to states and UTs, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said such an exercise will enable timely detection of newer variants, if any, circulating in the country and will facilitate undertaking requisite public health measures.
He highlighted that India with its focus on the five-fold strategy of test-track-treat-vaccination and adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour has been able to restrict the transmission of the coronavirus and is recording around 1,200 cases on a weekly basis.
Public health challenge of COVID-19 still persists around the world with around 35 lakh cases being reported weekly, Bhushan said.
“In view of the sudden spurt in cases being witnessed in Japan, United States of America, Republic of Korea, Brazil and China, it is essential to gear up the whole genome sequencing of positive case samples to track the variants through Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) network,” he said.
“In this context, all states are requested to ensure that as far as possible samples of all positive cases, on a daily basis, are sent to the designated INSACOG genome laboratories that are mapped to states and UTs,” he added.