Up Covid vigil, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya directs states : The Tribune India

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Up Covid vigil, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya directs states

Up Covid vigil, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya directs states

Amid a spike in Covid cases, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday directed the states to increase surveillance and ensure adequate stock of oxygen cylinders, ventilators, concentrators and vaccines. - File photo



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 20

Amid a spike in Covid cases, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday directed the states to increase surveillance and ensure adequate stock of oxygen cylinders, ventilators, concentrators and vaccines.

In a review meeting attended by the state Health Ministers and officials, Mandaviya has asked them to undertake mock drills every three months at both the Central and state levels to assess functionality of pressure swing adsorption (PSA) plants, oxygen concentrators and cylinders, ventilators.

Variant of interest

  • 21 cases of sub-variant JN.1 detected across the country
  • 614 new Covid cases on Wednesday, highest since May 21. Active case count 2,311
  • WHO terms Covid strain JN.1 ‘variant of interest’

He also urged states to create awareness on respiratory hygiene and counter fake news on Covid. “It is important to be alert and prepared against new and emerging strains of Covid-19 virus. Let us undertake mock drills once every three months at both central and state levels and share best practices. States should monitor emerging Covid-19 cases, symptoms and case severity to plan appropriate public health responses,” Mandaviya added.

He has asked all the states to send samples of all Covid positive cases to Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) labs to facilitate tracking of new variants.

Sudhansh Pant, Secretary, Union Health Ministry, informed Mandaviya that though Covid cases in India are significantly less compared to the global scenario, in the past two weeks, there has been a steep rise in active cases from 587 on December 6 to 2,305 on December 20.

Dr VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, said the scientific community in India is closely investigating the new variant but stressed on the need for states to ramp up testing and strengthen their surveillance systems.

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