According to the Centre, the CoWIN Portal will be available in Hindi and other languages starting next week.
These decisions were announced at the 26th meeting of the High-level Group of Ministers (GoM) on COVID-19, chaired by Health Minister Harsh Vardhan
New Delhi: By next week, the CoWin portal will be available in Hindi and 14 regional languages, and 17 new laboratories will be added to the INSACOG network to track COVID-19 variants, the health ministry announced.
These decisions were announced at the 26th meeting of the High-level Group of Ministers (GoM) on COVID-19, chaired by Health Minister Harsh Vardhan.
According to the health ministry, Vardhan told his colleagues that 17 new laboratories would be added to the INSACOG network in order to increase the number of samples screened and allow for more spatial analysis.
Currently, the network is served by ten laboratories located throughout the country.
Vardhan, when asked about their contribution to the country's current achievements, said, "India's new COVID-19 cases have dropped to less than three lakhs for the first time after 26 days. Also, a net decline of 1,01,461 cases has been recorded in the active caseload in the last 24 hours."
According to the ministry, he praised the efforts of defense scientists as well as the leadership of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in launching the country's first indigenous anti-COVID compound, 2-deoxy-D-glucose or 2-DG (developed by the DRDO in collaboration with the INMAS and Hyderabad-based Dr. Reddy's Laboratories).
The drug's study began in April of last year and ended recently when the DCGI granted it emergency-use clearance (EUA). The minister told the representatives that the drug has the potential to be a gamechanger in the country's pandemic response because it decreases patients' reliance on oxygen administration and has the ability to be consumed differentially and selectively. It prevents virus synthesis and the production of energy in COVID-infected cells.
He stated that the Centre is continuing to assist the states in dealing with the pandemic through a "whole of government" approach. According to the release, over 4.22 crore N95 masks, 1.76 crore PPE kits, 52.64 lakh Remdesivir injections, and 45,066 ventilators were distributed to states and union territories.
Members at the meeting were informed by the Union health secretary that the CoWIN platform would be available in Hindi and 14 regional languages by next week.
Dr. Sujeet K Singh, Director of the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), presented a comprehensive report on SARS-CoV-2 mutations and Variants of Concern (VoCs) identified in India. He displayed data on the prevalence of VoCs such as the B.1.1.7 and B.1.617 by state. According to the statement, the B.1.1.7 lineage (UK variant) was found to be prevalent in samples collected in Punjab and Chandigarh between February and March.
Dr. Balaram Bhargava, Secretary, Health Research and DG, ICMR, gave a presentation on the creative changes in testing policy that would broaden its scope of application and aid in mass COVID screening, particularly in peri-urban and rural settings where health infrastructure is lacking.
The use of mobile RT-PCR research vans and the amplification of RAT tests were proposed as solutions. Though the current capacity is about 25 lakhs (RTPCR 13 lakh, RAT 12 lakh), the latest testing regimen is expected to raise capacity to 45 lakhs (RTPCR 18 lakh, RAT 27 lakh).
The DG of the ICMR also provided information on the home-isolation guidelines, which have been translated into Hindi and other regional languages in order to reach a wider audience. There were also warning signs for hospitalization, ICU entry, and the possible administration of Remdesivir and Tocilizumab.
S Aparna, Secretary (Pharma), stated that a dedicated cell has been established to manage the development and distribution of COVID-19 drugs in high demand.
The procurement and distribution of Remdesivir, Tocilizumab, and Amphotericin-B are prioritized. She also stated that demand for Favipiravir has risen, despite the fact that the medication is not recommended by COVID medical guidelines. She proposed IEC campaigns to promote the responsible use of these medicines.
With government intervention, Remdesivir output has more than tripled in the country, from around 39 lakhs to 1.18 crore vials per month, according to the secretary (pharma).
Amphotericin-B, which is used to treat mucormycosis, has also seen a rise in demand. Five manufacturers have been established, and attempts are being made to ensure that the medication is distributed as efficiently as possible. The states were given one lakh vials from May 1 to 14, and import options are being actively explored, according to the statement.
The secretary of state for pharmaceuticals also stated that states must maintain an equal distribution between government and private hospitals, as well as keep the public informed about availability and shop data, as well as help avoid excessive stockpiling and maintain timely payments to manufacturers.
Harshvardhan also thanked all COVID warriors for remaining steadfast in their duty during the pandemic, "without showing any signs of deprivation and fatigue"
Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar, Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep S Puri, Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways (I/C) and Chemical and Fertilizers Mansukh Mandaviya, and Minister of State for Ministry of Home Affairs Nityanand Rai were among those who joined him. Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey took part in the meeting via videoconference. Virtually present was Dr. Vinod K Paul, Member (Health) of the NITI Aayog.