Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday directed health officials to enhance genome sequencing of Covid-19 positive samples to ensure timely tracking of new variants while also emphasizing on Covid-appropriate behaviour. Modi chaired a high-level meeting in Delhi to review the public health preparedness as the country witnessed a spike in daily cases.
According to Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday morning, the active caseload currently stands at 7,026 with 1,134 new cases being reported in the last 24 hours. According to the data, the daily positivity rate was 1.09 per cent while the weekly positivity was pegged at 0.98 per cent. The death toll climbed to 5,30,813
The prime minister emphasized on Covid-appropriate behaviour including wearing of masks in hospital premises by patients, health professionals and health workers. He also stressed that wearing of masks is advisable when senior citizens and those with co-morbidities visit crowded areas, a release issued by the Prime Minister's Office said.
“The prime minister 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 said.
Modi directed that effective monitoring of IRI/SARI cases, and testing for influenza, SARS-CoV-2 and Adenovirus be followed up with the states. He further stressed the need to ensure availability of required drugs and logistics for influenza and Covid-19 across the health facilities along with availability of sufficient beds and health human resources.
Modi also highlighted that Covid-19 pandemic is far from over and there is a need to monitor the status across the country on regular basis. “Prime Minister advised to continue focusing on 5-fold strategy of Test-Track-Treat-Vaccination & Covid Appropriate Behaviour, enhance Lab Surveillance & 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,” the PMO said.
During the meeting, 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 per cent in the week ending March 22, 2023. However, 1.08 lakh daily average cases have been reported globally during the same week, the release said.