Despite the number of COVID-19 cases seeing a steady downfall in India, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has directed officials to maintain a high level of alertness and surveillance, and carry out genomic sequencing aggressively as the cases of coronavirus infection continue to rise in some European and East Asian countries.
At a high-level meeting, chaired by the minister, the government’s decision of resuming scheduled international flights from March 27, the vaccination situation and the level of genomic surveillance were reviewed.
“Given the rising cases in China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, and some European countries, a high-level meeting was held by the Union health minister with senior government officials and experts.
“The minister has directed aggressive genomic sequencing, heightened surveillance and a high level of alertness,” an official source said. Senior government officials including Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, Department of Biotechnology secretary Dr Rajesh Gokhale, Secretary in the Department of Pharmaceuticals S Aparna, NITI Aayog member (Health) V K Paul, ICMR Director-General Dr Balram Bhargava and AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria and Dr N K Arora, the chairman of the COVID-19 working group of NTAGI, attended the meeting.
China has been witnessing the worst outbreak of COVID-19 in the last two years forcing the country to place millions under lockdown in desperate attempts to curb the surge. The situation has also deteriorated in Hong Kong.