New COVID Variants: PM Modi’s Principal Secretary Chairs High-Level Meeting To Review Preparedness

New Delhi: Newer variants of SARS-CoV-2 virus have been recently reported to have been detected globally.

Dr PK Mishra, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting on Monday to review the global and national COVID-19 situation, newer variants in circulation and their public health impact.

After detailed deliberations, Dr Mishra said that while the COVID-19 situation in India is stable and public health systems in the country remain geared up, states need to monitor trends of ILI/SARI cases, send sufficient samples for COVID-19 testing, ramp up whole genome sequencing and maintain close watch on the new global variants.

The meeting was attended by NITI Aayog member Dr Vinod Paul, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, PMO Advisor Amit Khare, Health & Family Welfare Secretary Sudhansh Pant, DHR Secretary and ICMR DG Rajiv Bahl, Biotechnology Secretary Rajesh S. Gokhale and Additional Secretary to PM Punya Salila Srivastava.

Secretary (Health) provided an overview of the global COVID-19 situation, newer variants of SARS-CoV-2 virus like EG.5 (Eris) and BA.2.86 (Pirola), which have been reported in 50 and 4 countries, respectively.

The meeting took note of the fact while a total of 2,96,219 new COVID-19 cases were reported globally in the last 7 days, India has reported only 223 cases in the past week.

The Secretary added that the daily average of new COVID-19 cases continues to be below 50 from the entire country and the weekly test positivity rate is less than 0.2%.

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