New Delhi [India], December 9 (ANI): In light of the emergence of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan reviewed public health response to COVID-19 and the progress of vaccination in the country, with the states and Union Territories on Thursday.
He also urged the states to ensure to maintain adequate buffer stock for eight critical drugs identified in the clinical treatment of COVID-19.
Yesterday, Bhushan has asked all the states to submit all the samples of positive cases of international travellers and their contacts as well as from emerging hotspots.
In a statement, Bhushan had said, "The samples of positive cases from international travellers and their contacts as well as from emerging hotspots are promptly submitted to INSACOG labs for genome sequencing as per the protocol."
Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia (INSACOG) is a laboratory to monitor genomic variations in the SARS-CoV-2 by a sentinel sequencing effort.
The Union Health Secretary had also instructed to treat all Omicron positive cases in designated COVID facilities with separate isolation areas earmarked for Omicron positive patients.
Bhushan further said, "All international travellers who have arrived in the community need to be monitored by the district surveillance team and their testing on the 8th day needs to be ensured if they have come from at-risk countries."
The Union health minister added, "Further, with the onset of winter and increased pollution in some States, the prevalence of ILI/SARI and respiratory distress symptoms should also be closely monitored." (ANI)