Kerala, Maha, Delhi among others report maximum Covid cases: Health Minister Mandaviya

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Mansukh Mandaviya | Photo: PTI

New Delhi: A review meeting chaired by Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya noted on Friday that seven states are reporting high number of Covid cases in India with rising test positivity rate, which include Kerala, Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Haryana.

At the meeting with the health ministers of different states and Union Territories, Mandaviya stressed on the importance of enhancing public awareness campaigns regarding adherence to Covid appropriate behaviour.

The state health ministers were advised to personally monitor and review the preparedness of all logistics and infrastructure, including availability of sufficient designated hospital beds, besides ensuring that there is adequate stock of essential medicines.

The states were also asked to regularly update their Covid data on the designated Portal. The meeting also discussed the global Covid situation, along with the domestic scenario.

The states/UTs were reminded of the joint advisory issued by the Union Health Ministry and ICMR on March 25, which called for a reinvigorated public health response to contain the surge of seasonal influenza and Covid cases through early detection, isolation, testing and timely management of suspected and confirmed cases to detect and contain outbreaks of new SARS-CoV-2 variants.

Mandaviya requested the states/UTs to ensure effective implementation of the same.

There was comprehensive and detailed discussion on various aspects of Covid management, including ramping up of hospital infrastructure, increased testing etc.

In addition, Centre told the states and Union territories that currently the World Health Organisation is closely tracking one variant of interest (VOI), XBB.1.5 and six other variants are under monitoring BQ.1, BA.2.75, CH.1.1, XBB, XBF and XBB.1.16.

Mandaviya advised states to ramp up vaccination of all eligible population, especially of the elderly and vulnerable population group.

It was highlighted that while Omicron and its sub-lineages continue to be the predominant variant, most of the assigned variants have little or no significant transmissibility, disease severity or immune escape.

The prevalence of XBB.1.16 increased from 21.6 per cent in February to 35.8 per cent in March, 2023. However, no evidence of an increase in hospitalisation or mortality has been reported.

It was also informed that while India has achieved over 90 per cent coverage of primary vaccination, the coverage of precaution dose is very low.


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