After 2 months the Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has chaired a meeting of the COVID task force as infections rise across China. The government has advised citizens to wear a mask in crowded places even as it insisted that there is no reason to panic.
The central government has already urged all states to conduct genome sequencing of positive samples to keep track of emerging variants. Health Minister has asked officials to strengthen surveillance.
Only 27-28 percent of India's eligible population have taken the precautionary dose of COVID-19, NITI Aayog member (Health) Dr V K Paul on Wednesday and advised people to take the jab and wear masks in crowded places.
He urged people not to panic and clarified that there was no change in the guidelines for international air travel so far. "People should wear masks in crowded areas. Those who have comorbidities or are elderly should especially adhere to this," Paul said.
Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Dr Rajesh Chawla, Senior Consultant - Pulmonology at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals said the only worry is that because of no travel restrictions the number of cases may rise in China. Other countries like US, Korea, and others have also reported a little increase in the number of cases.
He added, "At present, we should not panic and this is an indication that the pandemic is still not over. We should continue to have a policy of testing, tracking treatment, and vaccination, and we should all follow COVID-appropriate behavior."
On booster shots, Dr. Sanjith Saseedharan, Consultant & Hd - Critical Care at Fortis SL Raheja Hospital said that the booster is required and it has to be given to a very large population of people.
He mentioned, "Only one-third to one-fourth of our population has been given booster dose and we should reach somewhere near 50 to 60 percent of our population."
Dr. Sandeep Nayar, HoD - Respiratory Diseases at BLK-Max Hospital believes this is probably some herd immunity setting in among Indians and China probably didn’t have herd immunity as we did and hence the number of cases is rising.
For the entire discussion, watch the accompanying video
-With PTI inputs