Coronavirus | Number of mutant variant cases in India goes up to 29

Harsh Vardhan reviews preparedness of States/UTs for a dry run for roll-out of vaccine.

Updated - January 01, 2021 09:23 pm IST

Published - January 01, 2021 04:13 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Health worker taking  swab sample of travellers, who returned to Chennai from U.K. at a coronavirus testing centre, in Chennai. File

Health worker taking swab sample of travellers, who returned to Chennai from U.K. at a coronavirus testing centre, in Chennai. File

Four more cases of the mutant strain COVID-19 virus were detected in the country on Friday, taking the total number of those affected by it to 29, the Union Health Ministry said on Friday.

Out of the four cases, three were found in Bengaluru, while one was detected in Hyderabad, said a senior Health Ministry official. So far, 10 cases have been detected by labs in Delhi, 10 by a Bengaluru lab, one in West Bengal, three in Hyderabad and five by the National Institute of Virology, Pune.

“As per protocol, all the 29 patients have been kept in isolation at designated health facilities and are being monitored,’’ a Ministry official said.

On Friday, Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan reviewed the preparedness of the States/UTs for a dry run on January 2 for the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccine.

Emphasising the importance of such an event that involves mass participation similar to elections, he said: “Let us attempt to implement it as a real exercise with attention to the minutest detail. Proper coordination will go a long way in building mutual understanding so that the upcoming vaccination drive may proceed without any glitch.”

Requesting every official to ensure that the vaccination sites and official in charge abided by the detailed checklist and SOPs for vaccination that had been prepared by the Health Ministry and shared with the States/UTs, Dr. Vardhan pressed the need for perfect calibration between the administrative and medical officers to make the event a primer that would later enable the mass implementation of a vaccination drive.

Training on

After training over 2,000 master trainers at the national level, training was under way at the State and district levels in over 700 districts. “The procedure is similar to conducting elections where the team at a booth is also trained,” he noted.

Drawing from the Pulse Polio drive of 1994 in Delhi, Dr. Vardhan stated that as the exercise of vaccination was so integrally based on interaction and involvement of people, the relevant stakeholders, NGOs, Civil Society Organization (CSOs) and others need to be mobilised. He also stressed on need for adequate security arrangements at session sites, cold chain points and during vaccine transportation.

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