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Ensuring those at mass gatherings are fully immunized: From center to states

The Union Government today advised continued caution and vigilance to states reporting an increase in coronavirus cases in recent weeks, and to step up vigilance against COVID.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan reviewed the status of the COVID situation through a video conference (VC) with 14 such states reporting high numbers of cases from a week to the other as well as an increase in case positivity combined with a low number of COVID tests and below average COVID vaccination.

Meanwhile, the Union Government today called on States and Union Territories to ensure that those attending mass gatherings and pilgrimages are asymptomatic and preferably fully vaccinated against Covid-19. 19.

“All states/UTs, where such mass gatherings/yatras are proposed, should widely publicize that all persons planning to attend such gatherings/events are asymptomatic and preferably fully vaccinated against Covid-19,” said the Union Health Secretary in a letter to States and UTs.

He said that if necessary, a special campaign for primary vaccination and the administration of precautionary doses to all eligible persons could be taken by the administration at least a fortnight in advance for those who plan to join. . Adequate publicity and additional arrangements for testing (RTPCR and RAT will be carried out at multiple sites, he added.

While the trajectory of Covid-19 cases has declined significantly from levels seen earlier this year, a few states and UTs across the country are currently experiencing sustained increases in cases, he said in the letter.

The Center stressed the need for greater emphasis on a five-pronged strategy of test-track-treat-vaccination and adherence to appropriate Covid-19 behavior.

“During many such events/yatras, thousands of individuals undertake intrastate and interstate journeys spanning hundreds of miles with stopping points arranged by volunteers and community social/religious organizations Such congregations can potentially facilitate the transmission of infectious diseases, including Covid-19,” Bhushan said.

The Center said that during events such as religious yatras, where en-route gathering points are expected, relevant state governments should identify the main routes that individuals should take and arrange the necessary health facilities on those routes. .

Meanwhile, the Subject Matter Expert Committee (SEC) at a meeting held on Friday recommended Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for India‘s first COVID-19 mRNA vaccine, sources said.

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) is expected to grant emergency use authorization for Gennova’s mRNA vaccine soon.

The SEC, which reports to India’s drug regulator, found the data submitted by Gennova Biopharmaceuticals satisfactory at Friday’s meeting.

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