New Delhi, Dec 23: In view of recent Covid surge across many countries, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Friday virtually reviewed the public health preparedness for management of Covid-19 and Covid-19 vaccination progress with States Health Ministers.
“Centre and States need to work in tandem and in a collaborative spirit as was done during the previous surges for Covid-19 prevention and management,” Mandaviya told the state health ministers.
Union Minister of State for Health Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar and Dr V.K. Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog were also present in the virtual meeting.
Mandaviya urged the states to strengthen the surveillance system for whole genome sequencing of positive case samples to track the variants through Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) network to ensure timely detection of newer variants, if any, circulating in the country.
Focus is to be given to health facility-based sentinel surveillance; pan-respiratory virus surveillance; community-based surveillance; and sewage/ wastewater surveillance.
Mandaviya said that irrespective of the new Covid variants, ‘Test-Track-Treat-Vaccinate & Adherence to Covid Appropriate Behaviour’ continue to remain the tested strategy for Covid management.
This would facilitate undertaking of appropriate public health measures, he said.
States/UTs were also requested to expeditiously increase the rate of testing from the current rate of 79 tests per million, as on week ending December 22. They were further advised to increase the share of RT-PCR in tests.
The Health Minister advised the states/UTs to ramp up vaccination of all eligible population, especially of the elderly and vulnerable population group.
He cautioned against spreading of misinformation by ensuring dissemination of factually correct information in a timely manner.
In view of the upcoming festive season, he stressed on the importance of public awareness campaigns regarding adherence to Covid Appropriate Behaviour.
Mandaviya requested the state health ministers to personally monitor and review the preparedness of all infrastructure and ensure there is adequate stock of essential medicines.
Puducherry Chief Minister N. Rangaswamy; Manik Saha, Chief Minister and Health Minister, Tripura; Manoj Sinha, Lt. Governor, Jammu & Kashmir; Parsadi Lal Meena, Health Minister (Rajasthan); Dhan Singh Rawat, Health Minister (Uttarakhand); Keshab Mahanta, Health Minister (Assam); K Sudhakar, Health Minister (Karnataka); Banna Gupta, Health Minister (Jharkhand); Prabhuram Choudhury, Health Minister (Madhya Pradesh); S Chetan Singh Jauramajra, Health Minister (Punjab); TS Singh Deo, Health Minister (Chhattisgarh); Sapam Ranjan Singh, Health Minister (Manipur); Anil Vij, Health Minister (Haryana); Thiru Ma Subramanian, Health Minister (Tamil Nadu); Vidadala Rajini, Health Minister (Andhra Pradesh); Veena George, Health Minister (Kerala); Chandrima Bhattacharya, Health Minister (West Bengal) and Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister (Delhi) joined the high-level review meeting here on Friday.