NEW DELHI, Dec 21: Only 27-28 per cent of India’s eligible population have taken the precaution dose of COVID-19, NITI Aayog member (Health) Dr V K Paul on Wednesday and advised people to take the jab and wear masks in crowded places. He urged people not to panic and clarified that there was no change in the guidelines for international air travel so far.
“People should wear masks in crowded areas. Those who have comorbidities or are elderly should especially adhere to this,” Paul said.
Paul made the statements following a review meeting held by Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya amid a surge in Covid cases globally, especially in China.
“In view of the rising cases of COVID-19 in some countries, I reviewed the situation with experts and officials today. Covid is not over yet. I have directed all concerned to be alert and strengthen surveillance. We are prepared to manage any situation,” Mandaviya said in a tweet.
The secretaries of health, department of Pharmaceutical, department of Biotechnology, Ayush, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director General Rajiv Bahl, Paul and National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) Chairman Dr N K Arora attended the meeting among others.
In view of th erise in cases in Japan, the US, Republic of Korea, Brazil and China, the Union Health Ministry on Tuesday had urged all states and Union Territories to ramp up the whole genome sequencing of Covid positive samples to keep track of emerging variants.
In a letter to states and UTs, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan had said such an exercise will enable timely detection of newer variants, if any, circulating in the country and will facilitate undertaking of requisite public health measures.