COVID not over yet, important to be alert: Union Health Minister


Mansukh Mandaviya | Photo:PTI

New Delhi: Amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases across the country, the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya today said it is 'important to be alert' and follow COVID appropriate behaviour.

"COVID not over yet. With rising COVID cases in some states, important to be alert and not forget COVID-appropriate behaviour (CAB)," said Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr Mansukh Mandaviya as he chaired a meeting through Video Conference (VC) today with Health Ministers and senior officials of States and Union Territories (UTs) to review the progress of vaccination exercise HarGharDastak 2.0 campaign.

He also urged states and Union Territories to continue and strengthen the surveillance and focus on Genome Sequencing in the country.

He stressed reduced COVID-19 testing and stated that increased and timely testing will enable the early identification of COVID cases and help to curb the spread of the infection among the community.

He stated that the five-fold strategy of Test, Track, Treat, Vaccination & Adherence to Covid Appropriate Behavior (CAB) needs to be continued and monitored by States/UTs.

He asked the states to focus on increasing COVID vaccination coverage for school-going children and precaution doses for the elderly.

States were also urged to focus on implementing the Operational Guidelines for Revised Surveillance Strategy for COVID-19 which focuses on surveillance of incoming international travellers and surveillance through health facilities, labs, community etc.

Stressing the importance of COVID vaccination among the vulnerable age groups, he urged the State Health Ministers to personally review the status and progress of the special month-long drive Har Ghar Dastak 2.0 campaign which started on June 1.

He said, "Let us accelerate our efforts to identify all beneficiaries in the 12-17 age group for the 1st and 2nd doses, so they can attend schools with the protection of the vaccine".

He urged States for focussed coverage of 12-17 age groups through school-based campaigns (Govt/Private/ informal Schools like Madrasas, Day Care Schools), along with targeted coverage of non-school going children during the summer vacation.

He added that the population group of above 60 years of age is a vulnerable category and needs to be protected with the Precaution Dose.

"Our healthcare workers are going door-to-door to ensure that the vulnerable population is administered the Precaution Dose", he said.

The State Health Ministers were urged to review the administration of precaution doses to the 18-59 years age group with the private hospitals on a regular basis. He said that we can utilize the learning from the first Har Ghar Dastak campaign to achieve 100 per cent coverage among the eligible population for ensuring extended protection against COVID.

"Adequate vaccine doses are available across the country. Let us ensure accelerated coverage of COVID vaccination during the second phase of the Har Ghar Dastak campaign", he stressed.

Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar, MoS(HFW) also stressed accelerated COVID vaccination coverage in the States through the Har Ghar Dastak2.0 campaign.

State Health Ministers Dr Sapam Ranjan Singh (Manipur), Shri Alo Libang (Arunachal Pradesh), Shri Thanneeru Harish Rao (Telangana), Shri Anil Vij (Haryana), Shri Rushikesh Ganeshbhai Patel (Gujarat), Shri Banna Gupta (Jharkhand), Shri Mangal Pandey (Bihar), Dr. Rajesh Tope (Maharashtra), Dr Prabhuram Choudhary (Madhya Pradesh), Dr K Sudhakar (Karnataka) were present in the meeting.

Dr Manohar Agnani, Addl. Secretary, Ms Roli Singh, Addl. Sectary, Shri Lav Agrawal, Jt. Secretary, and other senior officials of the Union Health Ministry were present in the virtual review meeting along with NHM Mission Directors and other officials from States/UTs.

(ANI)

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