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Here's what India is doing to prevent China-like Covid surge

Last updated on: December 22, 2022 23:19 IST

The government on Thursday took a series of measures in view of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in several parts of the world, including China.

Here is what the Centre and state governments are doing:

IMAGE: School students visit the Parliament House complex wearing face masks, amid a sudden spurt in COVID-19 cases in China and some other countries, in New Delhi, on Thursday, December 22, 2022. Photograph: Manvender Vashist Lav/PTI Photo

*Prime Minister Narendra Modi cautioned people against complacency and urged them to wear masks in crowded places, while also directing officials to strengthen surveillance measures, especially at international airports.


*The Union health ministry asked the civil aviation ministry to ensure random Covid testing of two per cent of passengers arriving in international flights from December 24 to minimise risk of ingress of the new variant of coronavirus in the country.

*Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya asked states to remain alert and create awareness about wearing face masks and using hand sanitisers, especially in view of upcoming festivals and new year celebrations.

*The government is examining the reintroduction of mandatory 'air suvidha' forms with details of RT-PCR test conducted 72 hours prior to travel or complete vaccination proof for passengers coming from China and other countries reporting high number of Covid cases.

*Serum Institute of India has sought drug regulator's approval for market authorisation of its Covid vaccine Covovax as a booster dose for those aged 18 years and above who have been administered two doses of Covishield or Covaxin.

*New Omicron sub-variant BF.7 of the coronavirus that is causing a surge in cases in many countries has not been detected in Delhi so far.

*The Karnataka government decided to conduct mandatory testing of Influenza Like Illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) in the state.

*Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami asked the state health department to launch a drive to administer booster doses of vaccines to beneficiaries.

*Kerala decided to conduct whole genome sequencing of more samples to identify different Covid variants.

*Haryana's Health Minister Anil Vij said there was no need to panic, but has asked people to voluntarily follow precautionary measures like wearing of masks in crowded places and using hand sanitiser.

*Punjab asked its officials to step up number of daily COVID-19 testing to 10,000 in the state.

*Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin directed officials to screen all passengers arriving to the state at the international airport in Chennai for Covid symptoms and treat them as per the standard operation procedures.

*The Andhra Pradesh government said it is ready to handle any eventuality in view of the sudden spurt of COVID-19 cases in certain countries, as the state has sufficient manpower, beds, drugs and oxygen.

*Gujarat Health Minister Rushikesh Patel said COVID-19 situation in the state was under control and there was no active case of the BF.7 sub-variant of Omicron, which is believed to be driving the surge in cases in China.

*Health authorities in Agra begin screening visitors at the Taj Mahal and other monuments in wake of the new COVID-19 scare, focusing their efforts mainly on foreign tourists.

*Jharkhand government asked officials to send for whole genome sequencing of all positive samples of coronavirus to track variants.

*West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said her government is not currently planning any restrictions on the Christmas celebrations and the Gangasagar Mela in view of the advent of a new COVID-19 variant, maintaining that it has not yet been detected in the state.

*The Rajasthan health department directed chief medical and health officers of all districts to start screening, genome sampling and identifying high-risk groups.

*AIIMS Delhi asked its staff to follow appropriate social distancing protocol including in their seating arrangements, canteens and office gatherings and take preventive measures.

*Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) Director General Ajay Sahai said if cases continue to increase in the coming days, it may have implications on imports. "We are keeping our fingers crossed," he said.

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