‘Whole-of-Government’ Strategy: India’s Plan to Address the Emerging COVID-19 Variant

'Whole Of Government' Approach: How India Plans To Tackle New Covid Variant

'Whole Of Government' Approach: How India Plans To Tackle New Covid Variant

Amidst a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the country, there has been a notable spike in reported infections, with 640 new active cases recorded in the past twenty-four hours, along with one death reported in Kerala. The nationwide tally of active cases now stands at 2,997, compared to 2,669 the previous day.

To assess the readiness of the public healthcare system, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, presided over a meeting with all state health ministers. Additionally, Prof. S P Singh Baghel and Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar, Union Ministers of State for Health and Family Welfare, attended the meeting, along with Dr. V K Paul, Member (Health) of NITI Aayog. This meeting was convened in response to the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases nationwide and the discovery of the new sub-variant JN.1.

“Whole-of-Government” Strategy

Covid 19

The Union Minister emphasized the importance of readiness, drawing attention to the impact of the new strain on countries like China, Brazil, Germany, and the United States. He underscored the necessity for collaborative efforts between the state and union governments, adhering to the “Whole-of-Government” approach. States were directed to remain vigilant and ensure an adequate supply of medical equipment and medications to address a potential surge in cases.

Additionally, states were instructed to ramp up RT-PCR testing and promptly forward all positive samples to the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) for Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) to identify variants and monitor new ones, if any. A mandated mock drill every three months will assess functionality and preparedness, with all states and union territories (UTs) required to share real-time information on cases, tests, positivity rates, etc., on the COVID portal for effective monitoring.

Regarding the new sub-variant JN.1, while it does not pose a significant risk to public health, adherence to COVID protocols is advised as it has the potential for rapid transmission. Individuals are encouraged to wear masks in crowded places and maintain distance from those exhibiting respiratory symptoms.