Amid Omicron scare, Centre asks States to step up testing, surveillance

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Dec 10, 2021

No new Omicron case was detected on Thursday and the total number of cases remained 23 across the country

In view of Omicron, the new variant of concern, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Thursday asked all States to ramp up testing, surveillance to track and trace suspected cases.

In a review meeting with the State's Health Secretaries via video conferencing, districts reporting higher case positivity were directed to monitor the infections, and send positive samples to the INSACOG (Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium) labs for whole genome sequencing.

The Secretary also highlighted the need for district-wise monitoring of international travelers tested negative on arrival with focus on symptomatic cases, from ‘at risk’ countries from Air Suvidha portal.

States/UTs were also advised to ensure that funds released by the Centre under Emergency Response & Health System Preparedness Package: Phase-II (ECRP-II) are being used to strengthen the health infrastructure.

“States were informed that many ventilators supplied by the Centre are still lying unpacked and unused at some field hospitals, with consumables not being procured & made available by the States. This needs to be reviewed immediately to ensure that all PSA Oxygen plants, Oxygen concentrators and ventilators are installed and functioning,” the release said. Bhushan also requested States to ensure adequate buffer stock for the eight critical drugs used in the Covid-19 treatment as per the Guidelines issued earlier.

Covid cases

Meanwhile, India reported 9,419 Covid cases on Thursday with 159 deaths in the last 24 hours till 8:00 AM, as per the Health Ministry data. No new Omicron case was detected on Thursday and the total number of cases remained 23 across the country.

“In Delhi, two RT-PCR Covid positive cases were detected from Mauritius and UK and have been admitted to the LNJP Hospital, Delhi for genome sequencing. No new Omicron cases were found on Thursday,” Suresh Kumar, Medical Director, Delhi told BusinessLine.

Delhi saw a rise in Covid cases on Thursday at 65, highest in over 100 days with one casualty. The National Capital’s positivity rate increased marginally to 0.11 per cent from 0.10 per cent on Tuesday and 0.9 per cent on Monday. The number of active persons in the capital stood at 404, of which 160 are in home isolation and 179 admitted in the hospitals.

The recovery of 8,251 patients in the last 24 hours increased the cumulative tally of recovered patients since the beginning of the pandemic to 3.4 crore. With this, the country's recovery rate stood at 98.36 per cent, highest since March 2020. Also, the active caseload was at 94,742, constituting 0.27 per cent of the country's total positive cases, which is lowest since March 2020, as per the data.

In addition, India administered 80.86 lakh vaccine doses till 8:00 AM in the morning, aggregating to a total of 130.39 crore inoculations done so far.

Meanwhile, India conducted 12,89,983 Covid tests during the previous day, taking to a total of 65.19 crore tests done so far. The weekly positivity rate was at 0.74 per cent remaining less than 1 per cent for the last 25 days. The daily positivity rate reported to be 0.73 per cent, remaining below 2 per cent for last 66 days and below 3 per cent for 101 consecutive days.

Published on December 10, 2021
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