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At the Covid review meeting, Prime Minister Modi emphasises the necessity for heightened airport testing and surveillance.

On the same day that Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya encouraged states to strengthen community monitoring and administration of precautionary vaccine doses, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with top Ministers and government officials to discuss the Covid-19 situation in the nation.

China is experiencing an upsurge of Covid-19 cases, prompting Prime Minister Modi to ask for enhanced surveillance with an emphasis on genome sequencing and greater testing nationwide.

According to a statement from the Prime Minister’s office, the PM ordered the states to ensure the operational readiness of hospital facilities during the meeting. He also requested that individuals adopt Covid-appropriate behaviour and wear masks. “Covid not over yet. Increase ongoing security efforts, particularly at international airports. “Audit Covid-specific facilities to guarantee the readiness of hospital infrastructure, including oxygen cylinders, ventilators, and personnel,” the Prime Minister remarked, per the announcement.

Mandaviya, speaking to both Houses of Parliament about the current Covid-19 problem, stated that random testing of 2% of overseas travellers arriving at airports began on Thursday.

“In light of impending holidays and new year’s celebrations, states must also ensure effective community knowledge of Covid-appropriate conduct, which includes the use of masks, hand cleanliness, and respiratory hygiene measures, in addition to physical separation,” he said.

This comes as a result of a recent spike in Covid-19 infections in China, which has prompted concerns that the country could experience over one million deaths in the next months.

Three cases of the Omicron sub-variant BF.7, which is believed to be driving the outbreak in China, have thus far been identified in India: the first in September in Odisha, and the second in September and November in Gujarat. In Gujarat, officials recorded two cases of the sub-variant: one in September in Vadodara and another in November in Ahmedabad; both patients have since recovered.

India reported 185 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, but the total number of active cases decreased to 3,402. In the previous twenty-four hours, one fatality was recorded from Delhi.

Present in Parliament Today

Earlier in the day, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Om Birla, and the Vice-President and Chairman of the Rajya Sabha requested that members of Parliament wear face masks, stick to Covid-19-appropriate behaviour, and raise public awareness.

In response to questions from members of parliament, Mandaviya stated that random sampling of 2% of overseas visitors to the country has begun, and the government may consider making it mandatory for everyone if required.

The health minister stated that Covid-19 continues to have a global impact on life and livelihood, adding, “Over the past three years, the mutating nature of the virus has posed a threat to global health. Of numerous nations, an increase in Covid cases has been observed in recent days. However, over the past year, the incidence of Covids has been steadily falling. Currently, an average of 153 Covid cases are being reported per year across the nation. In the remainder of the world, 5.87 million instances of Covid have been documented. Japan, South Korea, the United States, France, Greece, and Italy are experiencing a steady increase in Covid cases and deaths. Recent media reports indicate a substantial increase in Covid cases in China. Since the beginning, the government has managed the pandemic with a “whole of government” and “whole of society” strategy. And we have achieved success.”

The minister confirmed that all oxygen plants are operational and that the availability of medicines has been reviewed.

Efforts made by states

The chief minister of Uttarakhand, Pushkar Singh Dhami, instructed the state health department to initiate a campaign to provide booster doses of Covid-19 and to organise booster doses camps.

Yogi Adityanath, chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, instructed officials to monitor the novel coronavirus variety, increase testing, and sequence the genomes of future cases.

In addition, he instructed them to inform the public about the importance of wearing masks in crowded public venues such as hospitals, buses, and marketplaces, and to reactivate the Integrated Covid Command and Control Room (ICCC).

Dr. K Sudhakar, minister of health for the state of Karnataka, stated that the government will intensify testing and send all samples of new COVID-19 cases to a laboratory for genome sequencing.

Similarly, the Jharkhand government has requested that all positive samples of Coronavirus undergo whole genome sequencing.

Bharat Jodo Yatra

In the meantime, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi stated that the government is developing “excuses” to stop the “Bharat Jodo Yatra.” Gandhi’s reaction came one day after Union Health Minister Mandaviya urged him to consider postponing the march if Covid protocols could not be adhered to.

“This pilgrimage will visit Kashmir. Now, they have introduced a new concept. “They wrote me a letter stating that Covid was spreading, stop the yatra,” Gandhi remarked while addressing a crowd in Ghasera village, Nuh district, Haryana.

Gandhi, in an attack on the BJP, stated that the BJP is afraid of the truth. “Hindustan ki shakti hai, Hindustan ki Sachai hai, yeh log dar gaye hai, yeh sachai hai (they are afraid of the country’s power and truth. This is the truth,” the former leader of the Congress party stated, adding, “we do not want RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) and Narendra Modi’s hate-filled India.”

In the meanwhile, the BJP has halted its “Jan Aakrosh Yatra” in Rajasthan.

(input from PTI)



Hi, my name is Nisha and I'm an educational journalist based in India. I've always been passionate about the power of education to transform lives, and that's what led me to pursue a career in journalism focused on this area. I completed my Bachelor's degree in English from Hindu College in Delhi in 2013 and then went on to earn my Master's in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in 2017. During my studies, I also completed several short-term courses on Education in India, Sociology, and other related subjects to deepen my knowledge in this field. I'm particularly interested in improving access to quality education in rural areas, where students often face significant challenges. I've worked on a number of initiatives to address this issue, including advocating for better policies, resources, and practices that can make a difference. As an educational journalist, I'm passionate about using my platform to highlight important issues in the education space. I've covered a wide range of topics, including the impact of technology in the classroom, innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and the challenges facing students from marginalized communities. One of the things I love most about my work is the opportunity to constantly learn and grow. I'm an avid reader and believe that reading is key to expanding one's knowledge and perspective. I'm always seeking out new ideas and insights to help me better understand the world around me. In summary, as an educational journalist, I'm dedicated to using my skills and expertise to make a positive impact in the field of education. I'm committed to improving access to quality education for all students and to using my platform to raise awareness about important issues in this area.

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