COVID-19 cases have increased in the past two weeks. 1,300 new COVID-19 cases recorded in the last 24 hours. India has been witnessing a slight rise in new cases with average daily cases reported as 888 and weekly positivity reported as 0.98% in the week ending 22nd March 2023. However, 1.08 lakh daily average cases have been reported globally during the same week. Also, there has been spike in Influenza cases in the country recently. The Influenza situation in the country particularly with respect to higher number of cases of H1N1 and H3N2 noted in last few months.
It is in this backdrop, PM Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting on 22nd March 2023 to assess the COVID-19 and Influenza situation in the country in terms of preparedness of health infrastructure and logistics, status of the vaccination campaign, emergence of new COVID-19 variants and Influenza types and their public health implications for the country.
He highlighted that COVID-19 pandemic is far from over and there is a need to monitor the status across the country on regular basis and to continue focusing on 5-fold strategy of Test-Track-Treat-Vaccination and Covid Appropriate Behaviour.
The key takeaways are
- Enhance Lab Surveillance and testing of all Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) cases.
- Community to follow respiratory hygiene and to adhere to COVID appropriate behaviour in crowded public places. COVID appropriate behaviour including wearing of masks in hospital premises by both patients, health professionals and health workers. Wearing of masks is advisable when senior citizens and those with co-morbidities visit crowded areas.
- Mock drills should be conducted regularly to ensure that our hospitals are ready for all exigencies.
- The availability and prices of 20 main COVID drugs, 12 other drugs, 8 buffer drugs and 1 influenza drug to be monitored.