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As the Covid-19 pandemic reactivates in several countries, including China, the Centre has advised states and union territories to continue focussing on a five-fold strategy, that is, Test, Track, Treat, Vaccination, and adherence to Covid-19 appropriate behaviour.

The Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan sent a letter to additional chief secretaries, principal secretaries, secretaries (Health) of all states and union territories wherein it was advised to "focus on aggressive and sustained genome sequencing and intensified surveillance and keep an overall vigil on the Covid-19 situation".

The Central government also asked states and UTs to send adequate numbers of samples to INSACOG to ensure timely detection of new variants while maintaining adequate testing as per the protocols for testing laid by ICMR.

The Union Government also pointed out that it is vital to encourage eligible beneficiaries to get vaccinated against Covid-19. This week, the Centre expanded the Covid-19 vaccination drive by including children in the age group 12-14 years on March 16.

The Centre said that the State machinery should create required awareness and ensure adherence to Covid Appropriate Behavior, that is, wearing of face masks, maintaining physical distancing in all public areas/gatherings and practice of effective hand and respiratory hygiene.

Meanwhile, India on Friday reported 2,528 new Covid-19 cases,997 recoveries, and 149 deaths. India's Active caseload currently stands at 29,181. 

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