According to the data from Union Health Ministry, India has recorded 1,134 new coronavirus cases, while the active cases increased to 7,026. Death toll climbed to 5,30,813 with five deaths reported one each in Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat and Maharashtra and Kerala.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a high-level meeting on Wednesday to review the covid situation and public health preparedness amid the rising cases of coronavirus in the country. He directed the officials to enhance Whole Genome Sequencing while also emphasising on Covid appropriate behavior.
"PM Modi chaired the meeting to assess the COVID-19 and influenza situation in the country in terms of preparedness of health infrastructure and logistics, status of the vaccination campaign, emergence of new COVID-19 variants and influenza types and their public health implications for the country," a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said.
"PM directed officials to enhance Whole Genome Sequencing of Positive Samples with the designated INSACOG Genome Sequencing Laboratories. This will support tracking of newer variants, if any, and timely response," it added.
He directed that effective monitoring of IRI/SARI cases, and testing for Influenza, SARS-CoV-2 and Adenovirus be followed up with states. He also stressed the need to ensure availability of required drugs and logistics for influenza and Covid-19 across health facilities along with availability of sufficient beds and health human resources.
During the meeting, a comprehensive presentation on the global Covid-19 situation including the rising cases in India was made by Secretary, Health, Rajesh Bhushan.
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The prime minister was briefed that India has been witnessing a slight rise in new cases with average daily cases reported as 888 and weekly positivity reported as 0.98 percent in the week ending March 22. However, 1.08 lakh daily average cases have been reported globally during the same week.
The action taken on the directions given by Prime Minister during the last Covid review held on December 22, 2022 was also briefed, the statement said.
He was informed that availability and prices of 20 main Covid drugs, 12 other drugs, eight buffer drugs and one influenza drug is being monitored. A mock drill was also conducted on December 27, 2022 in 22,000 hospitals, and many remedial measures taken by hospitals thereafter.
The PM was also apprised on the Influenza situation in the country particularly with respect to higher number of cases of H1N1 and H3N2 being noted in last few months.
PM advised the officials to continue focusing on 5-fold strategy of Test-Track-Treat-Vaccination and Covid Appropriate Behaviour, enhance Lab Surveillance and testing of all Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) cases. Mock drills should be conducted regularly to ensure that our hospitals are ready for all exigencies.
According to the data from Union Health Ministry, India has recorded 1,134 new coronavirus cases, while the active cases increased to 7,026. The death toll climbed to 5,30,813 with five deaths. One death each has been reported by Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat and Maharashtra while one fatality was reconciled by Kerala, the data updated at 8 am stated.
The daily positivity was recorded at 1.09 percent while the weekly positivity was pegged at 0.98 percent.
Meanwhile, there have been a rise in the cases of fever and cough in the country. The rapidly rising number of fever and cough ailments across the country have been linked to the H3N2 influenza virus. The spike in covid-19 cases amid the H3N2 scare is has become a worry for people.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said the soaring number of flu cases is linked to the Influenza A virus subtype. While the new sub variant is not as dangerous as perhaps COVID-19, but H3N2 is another respiratory virus which is highly contagious and can spread easily from person to person through droplets when an infected person coughs sneezes or talks.
On March 19, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issued revised guidelines suggesting people to maintain physical distance and use indoor masks for their safety.
The guidelines also advise people to monitor their temperature and oxygen saturation and stay in contact with physicians. The guidelines discourage people to consume Antibiotics unless there is clinical suspicion of bacterial infection.
Last week, the Ministry had written to the state governments of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Telangana to follow a five-fold strategy amid rising cases in these states.
“There are a few states which are reporting higher numbers of cases indicating possible localised spread of infection, and there is a need to follow a risk assessment based approach to prevent and contain the infection,” said Union health secretary, Rajesh Bhushan, in a letter to Maharashtra, Gujarat, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka.
"It is essential that the state must maintain a strict watch and take pre-emptive action if required in any areas of concern to control emerging spread of infection," Bhushan said.
First Published: Mar 22, 2023 5:17 PM IST
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