Nima Wangdi

With increasing number of Covid-19 cases in India, people are reminded to follow Covid-19 preventive measures diligently.

Health Minister Dechen Wangmo said following basic Covid-19 preventive measures like hand hygiene and wearing masks continuously is important as the country returns to normalcy.

“Besides Covid-19, frequent hand washing and wearing masks in crowded places will also prevent other common illnesses like common cold, diarrheal diseases and acute respiratory illnesses,” she said.

Lyonpo said that the country reported 143 Covid-19 positive cases since June 1, but no one had to be hospitalised. “With a slight increase in the positive rate, the ministry will continuously monitor the situation closely and inform the nation if an early intervention is needed.”

Meanwhile, India recorded 18,819 positive cases in a day yesterday. There are more than 100,000 active cases.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the number of new coronavirus cases rose by 18 percent in the last week, with more than 4.1 million cases reported globally. However, the UN health agency stated in its latest weekly report on the pandemic that the worldwide number of deaths remained relatively similar to the week before at about 8,500.

According to the sources, Covid-related deaths increased in three regions: the Middle East, Southeast Asia and the Americas.

WHO stated that infections rose by about 32 percent in Europe and Southeast Asia, and by about 14 per cent in the Americas.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has also said that cases were on the rise in 110 countries, mostly driven by the omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5.

“This pandemic is changing, but it’s not over,” Tedros said.

He said the ability to track Covid-19 genetic evolution was under threat as countries relaxed surveillance and genetic sequencing efforts. “That would make it more difficult to catch emerging and potentially dangerous new variants.”

Countries are urged to immunise their most vulnerable populations, including health workers and people above 60 years, as hundreds of millions remain unvaccinated and at risk of severe disease and death.

Tedros said that while more than 1.2 billion Covid-19 vaccines have been administered globally, the average immunization rate in poor countries is about 13 percent.

Earlier this month, the US authorised Covid-19 vaccines for infants and preschoolers, rolling out a national immunisation plan targeting 18 million of the youngest children.