The minister asserted that the economy has been put firmly on a high sustainable growth path with all-round development.
The Union Government today advised caution and continuous alertness to states reporting a surge in coronavirus cases during the past few weeks, and to step up vigil against COVID.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan reviewed the status of COVID situation through a video conference (VC) with 14 such states that are reporting a high number of cases on a week-to-week basis along with increased case positivity combined with low numbers of COVID tests and below-average COVID vaccination.
Meanwhile, the Union Government today asked states and Union Territories to ensure that people taking part in mass gatherings and pilgrimages are asymptomatic and preferably fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
“All states/UTs, where such mass gatherings/yatras are proposed to be held should widely publicise that all individuals planning to participate in such gatherings/events are asymptomatic and preferably fully vaccinated against Covid-19,” the Union Health Secretary said in a letter to the states and UTs.
He said if needed, a special drive for primary vaccination and precaution dose administration to all eligible people may be taken by the administration at least a fortnight in advance for those planning to join. Further adequate publicity and arrangement for testing (RTPCR & RAT will be done across multiple locations, he added.
While the trajectory of Covid-19 cases has declined significantly from levels that were observed in the earlier part of this year, a few states and UTs across the country are witnessing a sustained upswing in the cases currently, he said in the letter.
The Centre has underlined the need to enhance focus on a five-fold strategy of test-track-treat-vaccination and adherence to Covid-19 appropriate behaviour.
“During many such events/yatras, lakhs of individuals undertake intra- and inter-state journeys spanning hundreds of kilometres with halting points arranged by volunteers and community-based social/religious organisations. Such congregations may potentially facilitate the transmission of infectious diseases, including Covid-19,” Bhushan said.
The Centre has said that in the events like religious yatras, where en-route congregation points are expected, state governments concerned shall identify major routes expected to be taken by individuals and organise requisite health facilities on these routes.
Meanwhile, the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) in a meeting held on Friday recommended Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) for India’s first mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, sources said.
The Drugs controller general of India (DCGI) is expected to give Emergency Use Authorisation to Gennova’s mRNA vaccine any time soon.
The SEC under India’s drug regulator found data submitted by Gennova Biopharmaceuticals satisfactory in the Friday meeting.