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IANS

The Union Health Ministry on Friday said that it presented the status of Covid spread and vaccination coverage in the five poll-bound states with the Election Commission of India.

The meeting was held on Thursday.

The ministry quoted some media reports, which said: "Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in a meeting with the Election Commission of India (ECI) yesterday suggested that the 'COVID situation in the country is nothing to be worried about' and 'there is no cause of alarm or concern in the view of the very few cases of Omicron in the poll-bound states". The health ministry clarified and said, "These reports are highly ill- informed, misleading and far from the truth. These reports have a very high tendency to start a mis-information campaign in the midst of a pandemic."

According to the ministry, the Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan in his meeting with ECI presented the overall global and domestic status of spread of Covid, as well as Omicron, in the country. The details were also presented on the status of preparedness of the public health response within the states for control and management of the increasing numbers of Covid cases.

The focus of the presentation was to brief on the Covid situation in the five poll-bound states and their neighbouring states, said the ministry. Five states scheduled for Assembly polls this year are Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Punjab and Manipur.

The Election Commission on Thursday reviewed the current Covid situation in the five poll-bound states with Union Health Secretary, AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria, and ICMR chief Dr Balram Bhargava. It was the second time when Bhushan briefed the EC top officials on the emerging Covid situation in the country and poll-bound states in particular. Earlier, the meeting was held on December 27 with the health experts in which the Election Commission had asked to speed up the vaccination drive in the poll-bound states.

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