Vaccinate frontline staff fast: Centre tells states reporting surge in Covid cases
New Delhi/IBNS: The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday wrote to five states that have reported a surge in the daily Covid-19 cases and asked them to expedite vaccination of healthcare staff and frontline workers in districts worst affected.
"... confer immunity in shortest possible time frame to healthcare and frontline workers, as they are also involved in containment, surveillance and management of COVID-19 cases," read the letter that was sent to Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir and Chhattisgarh.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry has also clarified that there is no direct relation between the recent surge in coronavirus cases in Maharashtra, which is the worst hit, and some other states with the mutant virus strains N440K and E484Q of Covid-19.
This was clarified by Dr Balram Bhargava, Director General, ICMR at the weekly press conference on Covid-19, on Tuesday.
DG, ICMR further clarified that these two virus strains have been detected in other countries too and are not specific to India.
Moreover, they have been found earlier in some states in India. The E484Q strain was earlier detected in four sequences in Maharashtra in as early as March and July 2020.
The N440K mutation has been reported on 13 different occasions between May and September 2020 in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Assam.
The current upsurge in Maharashtra cannot be attributed to the currently discussed point mutations, he said.
However, the situation is being constantly monitored. As further scientific evidence emerges, it shall be duly shared, the ministry shared.
Maharashtra and Kerala account for 75 per cent of total active cases in India presently, the health ministry stated.