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Centre asks states to ramp up COVID-19 surveillance as cases surge

Active COVID-19 cases in India have been rising for the last 37 days and have now reached 99,602 after falling below 10,000 mark

June 29, 2022 / 07:32 PM IST
Representative Image

Representative Image

The Union health ministry, on June 29, issued fresh guidelines on COVID-19 surveillance in the country saying that sewage or wastewater surveillance should be carried out in states and samples from large outbreaks should be subjected to whole genome sequencing.

The guidelines come in the wake of fresh surge in coronavirus infections being reported from parts of the country over the last six weeks.

In a letter written to the health secretaries of the states, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote that there should be random screening of 2 percent of all international passengers coming to India using RTPCR.

The specimen from the positive samples should be mandatorily sent for genomic surveillance, he stressed.

The letter also said that all healthcare facilities should report influenza-like illnesses to the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) and district surveillance office would be responsible to analyse the data and a proportion—5 percent- of such ILI cases should be tested through RTPCR.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

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As per the guidelines, monitoring of severe acute respiratory illnesses in district hospitals and in selected tertiary care hospitals is a must and the data generated through the measure has to be shared with the Centre by the state IDSP units.

Also read: In Depth | Kickback charges return to haunt India’s drug regulator

Using the data generated by the states in the event of early detection of unusual events in the community such as large outbreaks, unusual clinical presentation of cases, mortalities, state or district rapid response teams should carry out outbreak investigation, the Centre has said.

The latest guidelines, said the government, is part of an effort to integrate COVID-19 surveillance with the IDSP surveillance mechanism.
Sumi Sukanya Dutta
first published: Jun 29, 2022 07:01 pm
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