Various countries around the world have reported a sudden rise in coronavirus cases, dominated by the Delta, Omicron and the new BA.2 variant.
Despite the number of COVID-19 cases seeing a steady downfall in India, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has directed officials to maintain a high level of alertness and surveillance, and carry out genomic sequencing aggressively as the cases of coronavirus infection continue to rise in some European and East Asian countries.
At a high-level meeting, chaired by the minister, the government’s decision of resuming scheduled international flights from March 27, the vaccination situation and the level of genomic surveillance were reviewed.
Covid surge in Asia
Coronavirus infections have recently increased in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea, among other places. While China’s Covid outbreak appears to be slowing this week, South Korea’s daily new Covid-19 infections have reached an all-time high of 621,328.
The appearance of Covid-19 variant BA.2
While Delta and Omicron dominated the Asian wave of Covid-19, a new worrying variant – BA.2 – is setting the stage for a resurgence of pandemic risks in Europe. The virus, which is thought to be an even faster transmissible strain than the Omicron variant, has spread rapidly in Germany and Austria.
Most European health officials have shrugged it off, showing little desire to re-impose the restrictions that had just been eased. However, German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach is among the few who has raised the issue.
Covid is on the rise in the United States
More than a third of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wastewater network that monitors for Covid-19 sample sites across the United States showed rising Covid-19 trends from March 1 to March 10, at nearly twice the rate seen in February. While people in many parts of the country have begun to return to work after mask rules were relaxed, authorities are once again on high alert due to the new risk of transmission.