Centre Holds High-Level Meeting on COVID-19, Urges States to Enhance Genome Sequencing

Centre Holds High-Level Meeting on COVID-19, Urges States to Enhance Genome Sequencing

In response to the emergence of new variants of the coronavirus worldwide, the Indian government conducted a high-level meeting on Monday, emphasizing the need for states to intensify whole genome sequencing of positive COVID-19 samples. The Centre also urged vigilance regarding global variants and the monitoring of influenza-like illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) trends. Health Secretary Sudhansh Pant provided insights into the global COVID-19 scenario, highlighting newer variants like BA.2.86 (Pirola) and EG.5 (Eris).

Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Dr. P K Mishra, stressed the stability of the COVID-19 situation in India and the readiness of public health systems. However, he underscored the importance of sending adequate samples for COVID-19 testing, enhancing whole genome sequencing, and closely tracking emerging global variants.

The meeting emphasized the significance of vigilance while presenting data. Health Secretary Sudhansh Pant detailed that EG.5 (Eris) has been identified in over 50 countries, while variant BA.2.86 (Pirola) has been detected in four countries.

Despite India’s significant population contribution (nearly 17% of the global total), the country reported only 223 new cases of COVID-19 in the past week, constituting 0.075% of global new cases. The health secretary further highlighted India’s achievement in maintaining a weekly test positivity rate of less than 0.2% and a daily average of new cases below 50.

The meeting also delved into the genome sequencing of different variants circulating in India. Attended by high-ranking officials including Dr. Vinod Paul, Member of NITI Aayog, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, and others, the meeting aimed to review global and national COVID-19 trends, new circulating variants, and their potential public health implications.

Sources By Agencies

Recent Articles


Related Stories


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay on op - Ge the daily news in your inbox