Home/ News / India/  PM Modi focuses on precaution, maintenance of vigil at COVID review meet as cases rise again

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a COVID-19 review meeting on Wednesday, during which he emphasized the need for caution and vigilance as COVID cases begin to rise again. He urged the public to follow respiratory hygiene and Covid-appropriate behavior to prevent the spread of the virus. 

Additionally, the Prime Minister called for increased lab surveillance, testing of all severe acute respiratory illness cases, and a ramping up of genome sequencing to detect and control the spread of the virus.

 The Prime Minister also discussed the current influenza situation in the country, noting a higher number of H1N1 and H3N2 cases in recent months. It is important that the government takes proactive measures to address these concerns and ensure the safety of the public.

India recorded 1,134 new coronavirus cases, the highest in 138 days, while the active cases increased to 7,026, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday.

The death toll has climbed to 5,30,813 with five deaths.

Meanwhile, speaking about the spike, Dr. Randeep Guleria, the former director of AIIMS, has suggested that the recent surge in Covid cases in India could be due to a new variant, XBB 1.16. He emphasized that there is no need to panic as long as the variant does not cause severe illness and deaths. Dr. Guleria also noted that new variants will continue to emerge as the virus mutates over time, and the XBB 1.16 is just one of them.

According to Dr. Guleria, as reported by PTI, if the new variant only causes mild illness and does not lead to hospitalization or death, it can help in providing some degree of immunity to the population. He believes that mild infections can contribute to building immunity in the community and reduce the severity of future outbreaks.

On whether XBB 1.16 has the potential to drive a fresh wave of cases in the next few days, he said, "You may see a surge in number of cases" but then they may be underreported as initially people were very concerned and would get themselves tested.

"Now even if they have flu-like symptoms, most people don't get themselves tested. Some use the rapid antigen test, and even if they are positive they do not report it. So the number we are actually reporting may be less than the actual number in the community."

(With inputs from agencies)




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Updated: 22 Mar 2023, 07:55 PM IST
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