By Shalini Bhardwaj
New Delhi [India], June 22 (ANI): Amid rising COVID-19 cases in the country, sources have now learned that Union Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya will chair a review meeting with the core team of experts on Thursday.
Sources have also confirmed that the meeting will be held in physical format tomorrow afternoon.
Earlier, on June 13, Mandaviya chaired a meeting through video conferencing with Health Ministers and senior officials of States and Union Territories (UTs) to review the progress of the vaccination exercise HarGharDastak 2.0 campaign.
"COVID is not over yet. There are reports of rising cases of COVID in some states. It is important at this time to be alert and not forget COVID Appropriate behaviour (CAB) such as wearing masks and maintaining physical distance to prevent spread of the infection", he had stressed.
Highlighting increased case positivity in some districts and States and reduced COVID-19 testing, Dr Mandaviya had stated that increased and timely testing will enable early identification of COVID cases and help to curb spread of the infection among the community.
He had urged States/UTs to continue and strengthen the surveillance and focus on genome sequencing for identifying new mutants/variants in the country. He stated that the five-fold strategy of Test, Track, Treat, Vaccination and Adherence to Covid Appropriate Behavior (CAB) needs to be continued and monitored by States/UTs. States were also urged to focus on implementing the Operational Guidelines for Revised Surveillance Strategy for COVID-19 which focuses on surveillance of incoming international travellers and surveillance through health facilities, labs, community etc.
Stressing on the importance of COVID vaccination among the vulnerable age groups, he urged the State Health Ministers to personally review the status and progress of the special month-long drive Har Ghar Dastak 2.0 campaign which has started on June 1.
He had said, "Let us accelerate our efforts to identify all beneficiaries in the 12-17 age group for the first and second doses, so they can attend schools with the protection of the vaccine".
He had urged States for focussed coverage of 12-17 age groups through school-based campaigns (Government/Private/ informal Schools like Madrasas, Day Care Schools), along with targeted coverage of non-school going children during the summer vacation.
He added that the population group of above 60 years of age is a vulnerable category and needs to be protected with the precaution dose.
"Our healthcare workers are going door-to-door to ensure that the vulnerable population is administered the precaution dose", he said.
The States Health Ministers were urged to also review administration of precaution dose to 18-59 years age-group with the private hospitals on a regular basis. He said that we can utilize the learning from the first Har Ghar Dastak campaign to achieve 100 per cent coverage among the eligible population for ensuring extended protection against COVID. "Adequate vaccine doses are available across the country. Let us ensure accelerated coverage of COVID vaccination during the second phase of the Har Ghar Dastak campaign", he had stressed.
Meanwhile, India reported 12,249 new COVID-19 infections and 13 deaths, while active cases went up by over 2,300 in a 24-hour span, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday.
The latest updates pushed the country's overall COVID-19 numbers to 4,33,31,645 cases, 5,24,903 deaths and 81,687 active cases, the data showed. (ANI)