Amid a spike in influenza and COVID-19 cases in the country in the past two weeks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday chaired a high-level meeting and directed officials to enhance genome sequencing while also emphasizing on Covid-appropriate behaviour.
India has recorded 1,134 new coronavirus cases, while the active cases increased to 7,026, according to Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday. The death toll climbed to 5,30,813 with five deaths. One death each has been reported in Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat and Maharashtra while one fatality was reconciled by Kerala, the data updated at 8 am stated.
Modi chaired the meeting to assess the COVID-19 and influenza situation in the country in terms of preparedness of health infrastructure and logistics, status of the vaccination campaign, emergence of new COVID-19 variants and influenza types and their public health implications for the country, a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said.
Former AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria said the new XBB.1.16 variant could be driving the recent rise but emphasised there was no need for panic as long it does not cause severe illness and deaths. New variants will keep coming as the virus keeps on mutating over the time and the XBB 1.16 is sort of a “new kid on the block”, Guleria told PTI in an interview.