VK Paul Assures Preparedness As COVID-19 Variant Sparks Concern
NITI Aayog member Dr. VK Paul on Wednesday asked fellow citizens not to panic about the new COVID-19 variant JN.1 and assured that the Centre is taking the necessary precautions to combat the new variant.
Speaking to media, Dr. VK Paul claimed that the new variant does not cause serious illness and the 16 deaths which have been reported in the last week were the people with serious comorbidities.
“We must remember that COVID-19 has not gone till now, and the people need to be a little vigilant. The government needs to be prepared for everything and hence, the government is continuously focusing on the sequencing and surveillance work,” he added.
“Centre has requested all states to increase the tests and make the citizens aware of the protocols. There is no need to panic because we all have been vaccinated,” Paul said.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao said that the state health ministry has had a conversation with the the Union Health Ministry over the rising number of cases and the state has been advised to maintain the essential health services.
“This variant has been here for around four months now and there is no need to panic. Karnataka is the highest right now in the whole country in number of tests,” Gundu Rao said.
He further stated that there would be no restrictions in the state.
Earlier on Wednesday, amid rising Covid-19 cases in five states — Kerala, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat and Karnataka, Union Health Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya chaired a high-level meeting on Wednesday with top officials and chief health secretaries.
“There should be no laxity in our preparedness. There is no room for politics when it comes to public health. The Union Health ministry is available for every support,” he said.
Mandaviya assured full central support to the states affected by the recent upsurge in Covid cases, saying they were working with a ‘whole of government’ approach. He suggested that the healthcare officials in the affected states conduct mock drills in hospitals every three months to ensure preparedness to tackle the upsurge in Covid cases.
“We need to be on alert but there is no need to panic. It is important to hold mock drills to ensure the preparedness of hospitals, increased surveillance and effective communication with people. We should hold mock drills in all hospitals once every 3 months. I assure the support of the Centre to all the states,” he added.
The Union Health Minister also urged states to ensure that preventive measures are taken amid the prevailing cold ahead of the year-end festivities.
The total Covid cases reported nationwide till 8 am on Wednesday was 341, of which Kerala alone accounted for 292, Delhi and Gujarat reported 3 each, Karnataka logged 9 cases, Telangana and Puducherry 4 each, Tamil Nadu 13 and Maharashtra 11, according to data by the Union Health ministry.
The total number of active Covid cases in the country is currently at 2,311, with the total number of fatalities reported since the arrival of the pandemic in India at 5,33,321, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. (ANI)
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