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Follow COVID Rules Or Suspend ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’: Health Minister Writes to Rahul Gandhi

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New Delhi: Amid the emergence of the new COVID wave in China, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday wrote to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot urging them to follow COVID guidelines in their ongoing Bharat Jodo Yatra.

The letter reads that COVID guidelines must be strictly followed during Bharat Jodo Yatra and the use of masks-sanitiser must be implemented; the letter further mentions that only vaccinated people participate.

Mandaviya has also requested to postpone the foot march if the following protocol is not possible.

“If following COVID protocol is not possible then the Bharat Jodo Yatra be postponed in the national interest, taking note of the public health emergency,” the letter further stated.

Reacting to the Union Health Minister’s letter to Congress, party MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, “I want to ask BJP did PM Modi follow COVID protocols during Gujarat Polls? I think Mansukh Mandaviya is not liking Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra but people are liking it and joining it. Mandaviya has been deputed to divert the public’s attention.”

Notably, the Yatra observed its last day in Rajasthan on Tuesday and entered Haryana on Wednesday.

Reportedly, Mansukh Mandaviya will hold a meeting with senior officials and experts on the COVID-19 situation in the country today.

The physical meeting will start at 11:30, sources told ANI. He will also review meetings on Covid-19 situations in other countries.

ln view of the sudden spurt of cases being witnessed in Japan, USA, Korea, Brazil and China, it is essential to gear up whole genome sequencing of positive case samples to track variants through the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) network, writes Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan to States and Union Territories.

“All states are requested to ensure that as far as possible samples of all positive cases, on a daily basis, are sent to the designated INSACOG Genome Sequencing Laboratories (IGSLs) that are mapped to the States and UTs,” said Union Health Secretary.

Amid the rising COVID cases in China, a top Indian health expert on Tuesday cautioned the people while asking them to keep a close vigil on the situation in the country.

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