He tweeted after the meeting, "In view of the rising cases of Covid19 in some countries, reviewed the situation with experts and officials today. COVID is not over yet. I have directed all concerned to be alert and strengthen surveillance. We are prepared to manage any situation."
Along with other government representatives, the meeting was attended by the secretaries of health, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and Ayush, as well as Rajiv Bahl, director general of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Dr. V. K. Paul, member (health) of the NITI Aayog, and Dr. N. K. Arora, chairman of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI).
The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday had urged all states and union territories to speed up the whole genome sequencing of positive samples for Covid in order to keep track of newly discovered variants in light of the rise in cases in Japan, the United States of America, Republic of Korea, Brazil, and China.
This will make it easier to take the necessary public health precautions. as newer variants, if any, will be quickly identified through this exercise.
Prior to the meeting, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan in a letter to States and Union Territories had said that in view of the sudden spurt of cases being witnessed in Japan, USA, Korea, Brazil and China, it is essential to gear up whole genome sequencing of positive case samples to track variants through the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) network.
"All states are requested to ensure that as far as possible samples of all positive cases, on a daily basis, are sent to the designated INSACOG Genome Sequencing Laboratories (IGSLs) that are mapped to the States and UTs," said Union Health Secretary.
(With inputs from PTI)