Hospitals conduct mock drills as India records 5,880 COVID cases in 24 hrs

In a review meeting held on April 7, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had urged state health ministers to visit hospitals and oversee the mock drills on April 10 and 11

A COVID-19 mock drill being held at Civil Hospital Ahmedabad on Monday

With a rise in COVID cases being recorded across the country, several hospitals — both public and private — held mock drills on Monday (April 10) to take stock of their preparedness.

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya personally reviewed the mock drill at Delhi’s Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital.

According to the health ministry data updated on Monday, India recorded 5,880 new COVID-19 cases in the previous 24 hours, while the number of active cases increased to 35,199. The death toll increased to 5,30,979 with 14 deaths.

Also read: Active COVID cases in country rise to 35,199

Mandaviya’s plea

In a review meeting held on April 7, Mandaviya urged state health ministers to visit hospitals and oversee the mock drills on April 10 and 11.

In the meeting with state health ministers, and principal and additional chief secretaries held virtually, Mandaviya stressed the need to identify emergency hotspots by monitoring trends of influenza-like illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) cases, ramping up testing and vaccination, and ensuring readiness of hospital infrastructure.

Besides enhancing genome sequencing and ramping up whole genome sequencing of positive samples, he laid stress on creating awareness about following COVID-appropriate behaviour.

Watch: COVID-19 cases on the rise; curbs are back

7 variants under watch

During the meeting, states and union territories were informed that the World Health Organisation (WHO) is closely tracking a variant of interest (VOI), XBB.1.5, and six other variants (BQ.1, BA.2.75, CH.1.1, XBB, XBF and XBB.1.16) right now.

It was highlighted that while Omicron and its sub-lineages continue to be the predominant variants, most of the assigned variants have little or no significant transmissibility, disease severity, or immune escape.

The prevalence of XBB.1.16 increased from 21.6% in February to 35.8% in March. However, no evidence of an increase in hospitalisation or mortality has been reported, the ministry said in a statement.

Also read: COVID curbs back in few states after surge in new daily cases; is India ready for another wave?

5-fold strategy

During the meeting, it was observed that 23 states and union territories had lower testing rates than the current national average of 100 tests per million people.

Mandaviya had said during the meeting that irrespective of the new variants, the five-fold strategy of “Test-Track-Treat-Vaccinate and adherence to COVID-Appropriate Behaviour” continues to remain the tested strategy for COVID management.

States and union territories were also requested to expeditiously increase the rate of testing and increase the share of RT-PCR in tests.

(With agency inputs)