Taking cognisance of the resurgence of coronavirus cases in southeast Asia and parts of Europe, the Centre on Thursday, 17 March, urged all states to restart monitoring influenza like illnesses (ILI) and severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) cases so that no early warning signals are missed and COVID-19 is controlled.
In a letter to Additional Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary, and Health Secretary of all States/UTs, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that patients who are hospitalised with ILI and SARI will be tested for COVID-19 and positive samples will be sent for genome sequencing.
In a letter to the states, Bhushan emphasised that there should be continued focus on five fold strategy – Test, Track, Treat, Vaccination and adherence to COVID-19 appropriate behaviour.
Testing for influenza-like illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) cases has been the pillars of COVID-19 management for the government, he noted.
While the resumption of almost all economic activities have been allowed now, the health official stressed that all COVID-19 precautions must be adhered to, and asked the states to not let their guard down.
At a high-level meet chaired by Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday, 16 March, he said, all states were advised to focus on aggressive, sustained genome sequencing and intensified surveillence. They were also asked to keep an overall vigil on the COVID-19 situation, he noted.
Besides, the Centre has also asked all states and union territories to ensure that an adequate number of samples are submitted to the INSACOG network for timely detection of new COVID-19 variants.