Govt sounds Covid alert, calls for strict vigil as cases rise elsewhere

NEW DELHI: In the wake of rising Covid-19 cases in several countries, including China, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea, health minister Mansukh Mandaviya has called for a high level of alertness along with aggressive genome sequencing and intensive surveillance, an official source told TOI.

The directions were given during a review meeting chaired by Mandaviya on Wednesday to assess the Covid-19 situation and progress of vaccination in the country. The decision to allow international flights from March 27 was also reviewed. No decision has been taken on that account so far, the official said.

The meeting was attended by top health officials, including the health secretary, pharma secretary and the principal scientific adviser to the government, sources said. Niti Aayog member (health) V K Paul, ICMR director-general Balram Bhargava, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) head Surjeet Singh and other officials were also present.

India on Wednesday reported 2,876 new cases, while the number of active cases dipped to 32,811. Though cases remain low, the government has cautioned against any complacency.

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