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.
— ANI (@ANI) December 22, 2022
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.
Covid19 | MoCA to ensure 2% of the total passengers in a flight undergo Covid tests at the airport on arrival; Such passengers to be identified by the airline, will be allowed to leave the airport after giving sample. Samples testing positive will be sent for genome sequencing. pic.twitter.com/umEB34Y6Ep
— ANI (@ANI) December 22, 2022
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)