By Shalini BhardwajNew Delhi [India], June 23 (ANI): In view of an upsurge in COVID-19 cases in India, Union Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya on Thursday reviewed the Covid and vaccination situation in the country.
The Union Minister chaired a meeting with key experts and officials.
In a high-level meeting, Mandaviya advised strictly to monitor the Covid situation in the country focusing on vaccination of the elderly population, school-going children and surveillance and genome sequencing.
India has been witnessing a high number of COVID-19 cases over the last couple of weeks. States like Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Haryana, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Gujarat are reporting more than 1,000 cases daily.
The Union Minister stressed on the need to focus on districts reporting high case positivity and undertake adequate testing (with a higher proportion of RTPCR) and effective Covid-19 surveillance to assess and control the spread of infection in a timely manner.
Mandaviya directed the officials to continue to focus on surveillance and on whole-genome sequencing (WGS) to scan for any possible mutation.
He also directed monitoring of hospitalizations due to COVID19, and SARI/ILI cases.
He exhorted to increase the pace of vaccination including booster doses in districts reporting high cases. "As there are adequate vaccine doses available, let there be no vaccine wastage while focusing on accelerating vaccination among the eligible and vulnerable groups," he directed.
The meeting was attended by Dr VK Paul, Member Health NITI Aayog, AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria, ICMR Director-General Dr Balram Bhargava, Dr N K Arora, Chairman COVID working group, National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI), NCDC director Sujeet Singh and Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.
Meanwhile, India reported 13,313 new COVID-19 infections and 38 deaths in a 24-hour span, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.
The latest updates pushed the country's overall COVID-19 numbers to 4,33,44,958 cases, 5,24,941 deaths and 83,990 active cases, the data showed. (ANI)