Covid-19 cases spike in Asia: Need for aggressive genome sequencing, India stresses
South Asian countries and certain European countries are witnessing spike in Covid-19 cases, yet again. Stressing on the urgency of situation, India’s Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has directed government officials and experts in the country to maintain a high level of surveillance. The union minister further reviewed the centre’s decision to resume international flights beginning March 27. The other agendas of high-level meetings included vaccination situation in India and genomic surveillance level.
“Given the rising cases in China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam and some European countries, a high-level meeting was held by the Union health minister with senior government officials and experts,” an official said. “The minister has directed aggressive genomic sequencing, heightened surveillance and a high level of alertness.”
The ministers who attended the meeting were health secretary Rajesh Bhushan, department of biotechnology secretary Dr Rajesh Gokhale, secretary in the department of pharmaceuticals S Aparna, NITI Aayog member (health) VK Paul, ICMR director-general Dr Balram Bhargava and AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria and Dr NK Arora, the chairman of the Covid-19 working group of NTAGI.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, chief of WHO (World Health Organization) too has blared a warning alarm citing increase in cases being reported in various parts of the world, specially Asia. He has raised concerns over another massive Covid-19 wave. “These increases are occurring despite reductions in testing in some countries, which means the cases we are seeing are just the tip of the iceberg. And we know that when Covid-19 cases increase, so do deaths,” said Tedros. “We call on all countries to remain vigilant. Continue to vaccinate, test, sequence, provide early care for patients, and apply common-sense public health measures to protect health workers and the public,” he said on Wednesday in Geneva.
India has been logging low daily count of Covid-19 cases. Today India had logged 2,876 new cases of coronavirus, thereby bringing the total tally to 4,29,98,938. According to Union Health Ministry’s data, the number of active cases has dipped to 32,811.