Rajesh Bhushan: Last News

Decline in testing hinders efforts to keep lid on covid

NEW DELHI : Covid-19 surveillance, including testing and sequencing, has declined significantly, the World Health Organization’s chief scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan warned, as India reported a surge in cases. The slide in surveillance, she said, is making it increasingly difficult to assess the impact of variants on transmission, disease characteristics and the effectiveness of counter-measures. She also noted that diagnostics, treatments and vaccines are not being deployed effectively, although the pandemic is not over yet.

In the last 24 hours, India has reported more than 14,000 new cases and 32 deaths. Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan has directed states and UTs to implement strict testing, surveillance and vaccination. Punjab, Karnataka, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu have reported the biggest spikes.

Swaminathan added that sub-variants of Omicron such as BA.4 and BA.5, continue to drive the high number of cases, hospitalization and deaths around the world. “New waves of the virus again demonstrate that the covid-19 pandemic is not over yet. We continue to call on all countries to maintain testing and sequencing services, to give us a clearer picture of where the virus is spreading, and how it is evolving.

In the recent emergency committee on covid-19 it was observed that the virus remains a public health emergency of international concern. Besides, surveillance has reduced significantly, including testing and sequencing, making it increasingly difficult to assess the impact of variants on transmission, disease characteristics, and the effectiveness of counter-measures. Moreover, diagnostics, treatments and vaccines are not being deployed effectively,"

. virus covid-19 testing

Soumya Swaminathan Rajesh Bhushan

www.livemint.comwww.livemint.com

Related News

DMCA