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Enhance lab surveillance, ramp up genome sequencing: PM Modi in Covid review meet

Covid review meet: Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a high-level meeting to review the Covid-related situation and public health preparedness, amid rising cases in the country.

Reported By : Devendra Parashar Edited By : Shashwat Bhandari
New Delhi
Updated on: March 23, 2023 6:11 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Image Source : PTI Prime Minister Narendra Modi

PM Modi's Covid review meeting: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday held a high-level meeting to review the Covid-related situation and public health preparedness, amid rising cases in the country.

The meeting was conducted to assess the situation in terms of preparedness of health infrastructure & logistics, status of the vaccination campaign, emergence of new Covid-19 variants & Influenza types and their public health implications for the country. This high-level review meeting comes in the backdrop of a spike in Influenza cases in the country & rise of Covid-19 cases in the past 2 weeks.

A comprehensive presentation was made covering the global Covid-19 situation including the rising cases in India by Secretary, Health, MoHFW.

The Prime Minister was briefed that India has been witnessing a slight rise in new cases with average daily cases reported as 888 and weekly positivity reported as 0.98% in the week ending 22nd Mar, 2023. However, 1.08 lakh daily average cases have been reported globally during the same week.

The action taken on the directions given by Prime Minister during the last Covid-19 review held on Dec 22, 2022 was also briefed. He was informed that the availability and prices of 20 main Covid Drugs, 12 other drugs, 8 buffer drugs and 1 influenza drug is being monitored. A mock drill was also conducted on December 27, 2022 in 22,000 hospitals, and many remedial measures taken by hospitals thereafter.

The Prime Minister was apprised on the Influenza situation in the country, particularly with respect to higher number of cases of H1N1 and H3N2 being noted in last few months.

Prime Minister directed officials to enhance Whole Genome Sequencing of Positive Samples with the designated INSACOG Genome Sequencing Laboratories. This will support tracking of newer variants, if any, and timely response.

The PM emphasized Covid appropriate behaviour including wearing of masks in hospital premises by both patients, health professionals and health workers. He also stressed that wearing of masks is advisable when senior citizens and those with co-morbidities visit crowded areas.

He directed that effective monitoring of IRI/SARI cases, and testing for Influenza, SARS-CoV-2 and Adenovirus be followed up with States. Further, Prime Minister stressed the need to ensure availability of required Drugs & Logistics for Influenza & Covid-19 across Health Facilities along with availability of sufficient beds & health human resources.

He highlighted that Covid-19 pandemic is far from over and there is a need to monitor the status across the country on regular basis. Prime Minister advised to continue focusing on 5-fold strategy of Test-Track-Treat-Vaccination & Covid Appropriate Behaviour, enhance Lab Surveillance & testing of all Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) cases. Mock drills should be conducted regularly to ensure that our hospitals are ready for all exigencies.

Prime Minister exhorted community to follow respiratory hygiene & to adhere to Covid appropriate behavior in crowded public places.

The meeting was attended by Shri PK Mishra, Principal Secretary to PM, Dr. V K Paul, Member (Health) NITI Aayog; Shri. Rajiv Gauba, Cabinet Secretary; Secretary, Health & Family Welfare; Secretary, Pharmaceuticals and Secretary, Biotechnology; DG, ICMR, Shri Amit Khare, Advisor, PMO  along with other senior officials.

The death toll climbed to 5,30,813 with five deaths. One death each has been reported by Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat and Maharashtra while one fatality was reconciled by Kerala, the data updated at 8 am stated. The daily positivity was recorded at 1.09 per cent while the weekly positivity was pegged at 0.98 per cent.

The meeting is taking place two days after the Center held a meeting to review Covid and H3N2 situation in the country.

India has recorded 1,134 new coronavirus cases, while the active cases increased to 7,026, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday.

ALSO READ | COVID-19: India logs 1,134 new cases, active tally climbs to 7,026

ALSO READ | UN report reveals 26% of world population lacks clean drinking water, 46% sanitation

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