Health Minister Mandaviya holds Covid review meet; lists key mantra to fight pandemic
New Delhi, Jan 02: Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya today virtually interacted with State Health Ministers to review the COVID19 preparedness and progress of National COVID19 vaccination campaign.
The meeting was held in view of the rising cases of the Omicron variant and the recent decisions to roll-out vaccination for the age group 15-18 years and precautionary dose for identified vulnerable categories.
During the meet, Mandviya noted at the very outset that globally, countries are experiencing 3-4 times the surge in Covid-19 cases in comparison to their earlier peaks. The Omicron variant being highly transmissible, a high surge in case can overwhelm the medical system. He therefore advised the States to leave no stone unturned in ramping up infrastructure to manage a high surge so that India escapes unscathed from this episode of COVID-19.
Dr. Mandaviya said in this regard that irrespective of the COVID variants, measures for preparedness and protection remain the same. He urged the states to re-invigorate their teams to work at the ground level and strengthen monitoring and containment mechanisms. This was followed by a comprehensive and detailed discussion on various aspects of COVID management including ramping up of hospital infrastructure; increased testing; stringent restrictive measures for breaking the chain of transmission; and stress on COVID Appropriate Behaviour among the masses. Critical bottlenecks in medical infrastructure were also discussed.
Applauding the dedication and patience shown by state administrations in their fight against the pandemic and in simultaneously ensuring the welfare of the people, Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya said, "We have put up a strong fight against Covid earlier and this learning must be used to re-focus on efforts against the Omicron variant." He stressed on the continued need to follow COVID Appropriate Behaviour along with renewed and stringent focus on containment measures for addressing the present surge.
While appreciating the efforts of States/UTs in achieving the national average of 90% coverage of first dose vaccination of all eligible adults, he urged those states, whose progress of vaccination is below the national average, to ramp up their vaccination campaign. States were also advised to prepare a weekly plan to catch up & exceed the average national vaccination coverage and review the implementation of this plan on a daily basis at the level of Secretary/ACS Health [with special emphasis in 5 poll-bound States of Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Manipur].
Mandaviya also pointed out that various measures are being taken by the Union Government to ramp up infrastructure development and vaccine production in the country. He requested states/UTs to share their best practices so that the entire country can benefit.