The Department of Health and Family Welfare in Mysuru will keep a close watch on the Influenza Like Illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) amidst fresh fears of COVID-19 with a new variant threatening to spike cases.
In view of separate advisories issued by the Centre and the State over the precautions to be adopted against the new variant and increasing vaccination coverage, Deputy Commissioner K.V. Rajendra on Friday held a COVID-19 review meeting at his office. District Health Officer Dr. K.H. Prasad and senior officials from the health department took part.
After the meeting, Dr. Prasad said a directive has been issued for stepping up surveillance, increasing the tests of SARI and ILI patients. The tests on these patients will go from 150 to 400 as directed at the meeting, he said.
With the booster dose coverage not been very encouraging in the district, the DC told health authorities to step up drives and encourage the eligible populations to avail the precautionary jabs for the protection against the infection.
Though not mandatory, the health authorities have been asked to ensure people attending indoor gatherings wear masks as a safety measure. “It is not mandatory but the people must take precautions like wearing masks while attending indoor events or gatherings,” the DHO said.
Dr. Prasad said the booster dose coverage in the district is around 27 percent and steps will be taken to expand the coverage for the safety of the populations. “The people did not avail the booster dose after the drop in cases early this year. They can get the jab at least now and the district has adequate stocks of the vaccine doses. Booster dose is the best safety measure,” Dr. Prasad added.
Mysuru gets genome sequencing lab
Mysuru has got genome sequencing laboratory and samples from the district will undergo sequencing tests instead of sending them to Bengaluru.
An advisory has been given for increasing genome sequencing in view of the new B7 variant of Coronavirus which is making a big surge in China. “We are stepping up sequencing tests,” the DHO said.