OPEN APP
Home / Science / Health /  Decline in testing hinders efforts to keep lid on covid
Listen to this article

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," Swaminathan said.

“The virus is running freely and countries are not effectively managing the disease burden based on their capacity, in terms of both hospitalization for acute cases and the expanding number of people with post covid-19 condition—often referred to as long Covid," she added.

Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
More Less
Subscribe to Mint Newsletters
* Enter a valid email
* Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.

Recommended For You

Trending Stocks

×
Get alerts on WhatsApp
Set Preferences My ReadsWatchlistFeedbackRedeem a Gift CardLogout