After frightening reports from China spurred a high-level conference to devise the strategy to avert a spike here, the centre today recommended people to mask up in crowded settings and resolved to hold weekly meetings to monitor the country’s Covid status.
Mansukh Mandaviya, the Union Minister of Health, presided over a discussion on the country’s Covid crisis with key officials and specialists. The minister tweeted following the meeting, “COVID is still ongoing. I’ve told everyone involved to be vigilant and step up security. We are equipped to handle any circumstance.”
There is no reason to fear, according to VK Paul, the leader of the national task group on Covid and a member of NITI Aayog, and proper tests are being carried out. In crowded places, he advocated wearing masks. According to Mr. Paul, the rules for international aviation travel have not yet changed.
According to earlier reports, the review meeting would mainly focus on six important topics. These include developing a plan to stop incoming cases at domestic and international airports, establishing rules for visitors, and consulting experts on the new Covid version.
The sources added that topics such as Indian travellers returning from abroad, the Covid strains presently present in the nation, and preventative strategies for the impending New Year celebrations would also be covered.
Samples from all Covid positive patients are to be transmitted daily, according to the government, to the INSACOG genome sequencing facilities, which are mapped with all states and Union Territories. The Health Ministry’s INSACOG forum was established to research and keep an eye on different Covid strains in India.
Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote to all states, “In view of the rapid spurt of cases being witnessed in Japan, United States of America, Republic of Korea, Brazil, and China, it is important to gear up the whole genome sequencing of positive case samples to follow the variants.”
According to Mr. Bhushan’s letter, “Such an activity will enable prompt detection of newer variations, if any, circulating in the nation and will facilitate undertaking of necessary public health actions for the same.”
Over the past 24 hours, 129 new infections have been detected in the nation, and 3,408 active cases are currently registered. Over the past 24 hours, one death has been reported, bringing the total to 5,30,677.
Following a sudden change in its Zero Covid policy, which imposed severe lockdowns and widespread testing, China is apparently battling to control an increase in Covid-related deaths.
According to reports, hospitals in China have been overwhelmed by the sudden uptick in cases, and drugstores are out of stock. According to Chinese authorities, it is hard to monitor the virus’s development, according to news agency AFP. Just five Covid deaths were recorded by local authorities in Beijing on Tuesday, up from two on Monday. Only individuals who had directly died from respiratory failure brought on by the virus would be included in the Covid mortality numbers, according to Beijing health officials.