Enemy changing with time, Centre keeps close watch: Mandaviya on Covid situation New Delhi: Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya addresses the media at Parliament, in New Delhi on Wednesday, December 21, 2022. (Photo: Qamar Sibtain/IANS)

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New Delhi, Dec 22 (IANS) Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Thursday said in the Lok Sabha the Centre was keeping an eye on the global Covid situation following the recent surge in cases in China and other countries, and since the enemy was changing with time there was a need to continue a collective fight.

The 2 per cent random sampling of all international passengers was being considered at all international airports to minimise the risk of ingress of any new variant into the country, health minister informed the House.

“In last few days, we have seen an increasing trajectory of Covid-19 cases across the world. India on the other hand has shown a continued decreasing trajectory of cases since last one year. Presently, 153 new cases on an average are being reported daily across the country, but globally approximately 5.87 lakh new cases are still being reported on an average on a daily basis. A large number of cases are being reported in countries, including Japan, the US, South Korea, France, Greece, Italy. There are also media reports of a high number of cases and deaths being reported from China since the last few days,” the health minister informed the House.

“As part of our ongoing efforts to monitor Covid-19 and in view of the reported surge in cases from across the world, the Union Ministry of Health has been monitoring the global situation, the challenge posed by multiple variants of Covid-19 and undertaking required public health measures,” he said.

Besides regular technical support, through the National Health Mission, State Disaster Response Fund, Emergency COVID Response packages, and Prime Minister Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission, funding support has also been provided to support states in their efforts to manage Covid-19, Mandaviya added further.

On the vaccination campaign against the Covid pandemic, the health minister said that we have already administered a record number of 220.02 crore doses across the country. This has covered 90 per cent of the eligible population with two doses, including administration of 22.35 crore precaution doses.

On specific interventions to manage the ongoing challenge, he briefed the House that states have been advised to focus on heightened surveillance within the community and to undertake requisite control and containment measures. States have also been advised to increase the whole genome sequencing of all positive cases for timely detection of newer variants, if any, circulating in the country and facilitate undertaking required public health measures, he said.

“In view of upcoming festivals and New Year celebrations, states also need to focus on ensuring effective awareness within the community on adherence to Covid appropriate behaviour which includes use of masks, hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene practices, besides following physical distancing. States should ensure that the coverage of precaution doses for Covid-19 vaccination should increase and required awareness for the same is undertaken within the community,” Mandaviya told the House.

“Under the leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji, India would continue to focus on strategic principles of ‘Test-Track-Treat-Vaccination and adherence to Covid appropriate behaviour’ for management of Covid-19. The government is committed to undertake all required measures towards managing this ongoing pandemic,” said Mandaviya, requesting all MPs to help spread community awareness that the pandemic is still not over and need to remain alert and undertake required precautions besides vaccination.



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