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Covid advisories must be updated based on evolving scenario: Mishra

PK Mishra asked officials to maintain a strict vigil on the situation and take necessary actions to contain the Covid-19 spread

A healthcare worker collects a swab sample of a tourist for COVID-19 testing amid surge in coronavirus cases in some countries, at the  eastern entrance of the Taj Mahal, in Agra.

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BS Web Team New Delhi

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Dr PK Mishra, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, Wednesday chaired a high-level meeting to assess the Covid-19 situation in the country. The meeting focused on the status of preparedness of health infrastructure and logistics, drugs, vaccination campaigns in the country, and the necessary steps that need to be taken in response to the recent surge in Covid cases.

Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary of Health and Family Welfare, provided an overview of the global Covid-19 situation. He highlighted that India has been witnessing a rapid increase in the number of Covid cases with the majority of cases being reported in 8 states which are Kerala, Delhi, Maharashtra, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Rajasthan. 

He also underlines the sudden increase in the positivity rate along with the status of tests being conducted in the country. He presented a detailed analysis of active cases within these 8 states and highlighted that approximately 92 per cent of the cases are under home isolation.

Bhushan also provided an overview of the genome sequencing of different variants since January 2023 and noted the proportion of circulating variants in India. The status of vaccination was discussed, followed by drug availability and infrastructure preparedness across the country. The meeting also reviewed the expenditure of the Covid-19 vaccination programme and budget provisions for drugs and vaccine raw materials.

Health Secretary also informed that States have already been advised that they can take necessary steps for procurement of requisite Covid vaccine directly from the manufacturers without any prior approvals from the Union Ministry of Health. Private Hospitals can also directly procure vaccines from the manufacturer. Once procured, these vaccines can be administered as per the existing Covid vaccination guidelines.

After the presentation, Dr PK Mishra highlighted that in order to manage localized surges it is essential that sufficient health infrastructure should be available at the sub-district level and the same may be ensured in consultation with States. He stressed that the advisories for guiding States should be assessed and updated based on evolving scenarios.

Further, the members deliberated that it is critical to focus on the identification of emerging hotspots and States should monitor trends of ILI/SARI cases, send sufficient samples for testing of Covid-19, and ramp up genome sequencing.

Mishra stressed that the time-tested 5-fold strategy of 'test, track, treat, vaccination and adherence' to the Covid appropriate behaviour must continue to be implemented.

He asked officials to maintain a strict vigil on the Covid-19 situation and take necessary actions to contain the Covid-19 spread.

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First Published: Apr 19 2023 | 9:39 PM IST

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