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Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya to chair review meeting today amid rising Covid cases

Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya to chair review meeting today amid rising Covid cases

New Delhi: As COVID-19 cases in India continue to rise, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya will on Thursday chair a high-level review meeting with the core team of experts, official sources said.

Earlier, on June 13, Mandaviya chaired a meeting through video conferencing with Health Ministers and senior officials of States and Union Territories (UTs) to review the progress of the vaccination exercise HarGharDastak 2.0 campaign.

"Covid is not over yet. There are reports of rising cases of Covid in some states. It is important at this time to be alert and not forget Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) such as wearing masks and maintaining physical distance to prevent the spread of the infection", he had stressed.

India has been witnessing an increase in coronavirus infections over the last couple of weeks.

To date, ten states -- Maharashtra, Kerala, Delhi, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, West Bengal, and Gujarat -- have over 1,000 active cases.

India saw a single-day rise of 13,313 new coronavirus infections, taking the infection tally to 4,33,44,958, while the active cases have increased to 83,990, according to the Union health ministry data updated on Thursday.

The death toll has climbed to 5,24,941 with 38 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am stated.

In a review meeting of INSACOG held last week, states/UTs were asked to submit a "larger number" of samples for whole genome sequencing from districts and areas which have seen a surge in COVID-19 cases over a period of seven days.

The direction was issued to check the possibility of any new emerging variant or sub-variant and ascertain the reasons behind the breakthrough infections, sources had said.

According to the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) experts, Omicron and its sublineages, primarily BA. 2 and BA.2.38, as of now, seem to be behind the current rise in Covid cases, an official source had said.

The BA.2 and its sublineages constitute over 85 percent of the cases with BA.2.38 being found in around 33 percent of the samples. The percentage of BA.4 and BA.5 is found in less than 10 percent of samples, they had said.

Forty-three districts in India, including 11 from Kerala, six from Mizoram, and five from Maharashtra, are reporting a weekly Covid positivity rate of more than 10 percent. In 42 districts, including eight from Rajasthan, five from Delhi, and four from Tamil Nadu, the weekly positivity is between 5 and 10 percent, sources said.

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