Health Minister reviews Public Health Preparedness to tackle COVID with States, UTs
Health Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya on Sunday reviewed Public Health Preparedness to COVID19 and National COVID19 Vaccination Progress with States and Union Territories. 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 to 18 years and precautionary dose for identified vulnerable categories.
Dr. Mandaviya noted that globally, countries are experiencing 3 to 4 times 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.
The Minister stressed on the continued need to follow COVID Appropriate Behavior along with renewed and stringent focus on containment measures for addressing the present surge. Underscoring the critical importance of vaccination drive, he said, we must focus on planning with regard to the 15 to 18 age group vaccination and precautionary doses for eligible beneficiaries.
While appreciating the efforts of States and UTs in achieving the national average of 90 per cent coverage of first dose vaccination of all eligible adults, the Minister urged those states, whose progress of vaccination is below the national average, to ramp up their vaccination campaign. Dr. 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.
The Minister brought attention of the States and UTs to the fact that collectively, they have only used just over 17 per cent of the available approved funds under Emergency COVID Response Package.