Modi chairs key Covid-19 meet

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today chaired an important meeting on the Covid situation and the vaccination drive in the country with top officials, government sources.

The meeting has come amid rising global concerns over a new strain of the coronavirus which the World Health Organization has named ‘Omicron’ and classified as a highly transmissible virus of concern.

Sources said vaccination, Omicron and other issues were discussed at the meeting.

The meeting comes amid concern over the B.1.1.529 strain of the coronavirus, renamed Omicron by the World Health Organisation, which has been red flagged for a number of mutations that might make it more resistant to vaccines, increase transmissibility and lead to more severe symptoms.

The variant – first detected in South Africa this week, and since reported from Botswana, Hong Kong, Israel, and Belgium – is believed to have 50 mutations, including over 30 on the spike protein and 10 on the receptor binding domain.

This was the second such meeting by the Prime Minister this month. Earlier on 3 November, he met with the officials of districts where the vaccination coverage was low and the respective Chief Ministers.

Earlier this day, Prime Minister Modi received a request from the Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, to stop all flights from those countries affected by the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus.


NT Bureau