COVID Alert: Health Ministry urges for strict vigil

JNS I  New Delhi: Ministry of health urged for increased surveillance, aggressive genome sequencing, and increased testing following a sudden spike in COVID-19 cases reported in several countries including China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea.

Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya convened a high-level conference on Wednesday to assess India’s readiness and degree of alertness in light of recent reports of an uptick in Covid-19 infections in some European and East Asian countries.

China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, and some European countries are witnessing a surge in Covid cases. Tens of millions of people have been placed under lockdown across China. Two cases of the new Covid variant has been detected in Israel. The new strain was detected in two passengers who had arrived at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport. The newly recovered strain is a combination of two sub-variants of the Omicron version of the Covid-19 virus.

Notably, the third wave of the epidemic, driven by Omicron, has just begun to revive India. The Centre has just confirmed that international flights would return on March 27 after a two-year hiatus.

The meeting was attended by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, NTAGI chief Dr N K Arora, NITI Aayog member (Health) V K Paul, ICMR Director-General Dr Balram Bhargava, and AIIMS Director Dr. Randeep Guleria, and Department of Biotechnology Secretary Dr. Rajesh Gokhale.

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