Covid warning once more: attempt to use a mask during random airport testing

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya reviewed the situation in India in light of the mounting cases in China and other nations on Wednesday and asked people to practise Covid-appropriate behaviour, such as wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, routinely washing hands, and being immunised. He also gave the order to “completely gear up and increase surveillance” by the authorities.

According to official sources, random screening of arriving overseas travellers will resume. After a change in travel recommendations at the end of November, it had halted. Before that, airports conducted random drug tests on 2% of all international travellers.

Two cases of the Omicron sub-variant BF.7, which is thought to be responsible for the rise in China, have reportedly been found in India thus far, with the first case occurring in Odisha in September and the second in Gujarat in November, according to sources in Delhi. “The instances weren’t widely dispersed when they were first discovered. According to a senior official, it is probably similar to previous varieties that were on the watch list for other nations but only slightly increased the number of cases in India.

Officials in Gujarat reported two instances of the sub-variant, both of which have subsequently recovered. The cases were reported in Vadodara in September and Ahmedabad in November.

A 61-year-old woman who had arrived from the US on September 11 of this year, according to a news statement from the Vadodara Municipal Corporation, had tested positive for the sub-variant. The statement read, “The patient was in home isolation and had received three doses of the Pfizer vaccine.”

A 57-year-old male who had arrived from Australia on November 11 had tested positive for the sub-variant, according to the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. He had no symptoms. On November 21, he travelled back to Australia. At that time, every member of his family was asymptomatic as well, according to the medical officer, Dr. Bhavin Solanki.)

The sub-variant was discovered in Odisha in the sample of a woman from the Khordha district who had been examined before to leaving for the US.

In November, 2.5% of all samples sequenced in India were of the parent sub-variant BA.5, according to information from the nation’s Sars-CoV-2 genome sequencing collaboration, INSACOG. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan requested in a letter to all the states and UTs on Tuesday that they sequence all positive samples on a daily basis in order to monitor any newly developing variations.

“Covid is still going on. I’ve told everyone involved to be vigilant and step up security. After the review meeting on Wednesday, Mandaviya wrote, “We are ready to handle any situation.

Experts and senior authorities were present at the meeting, where Mandaviya received a briefing on the domestic situation and the global Covid issue, as well as the level of preparation of all stakeholders.

The meeting’s findings revealed that India’s daily case count has remained low, with an average of 158 positive cases per day recorded during the week ending December 19. An average of 5.9 lakh cases per day were recorded globally over the past six weeks, with the week ending December 19 seeing an increase in this trend.

The Covid-19 vaccine’s first two doses have been administered to over 90% of eligible recipients, but coverage of the precautionary dosage, which started earlier this year, has remained low. At the completion of a 75-day campaign to give free booster injections to all adults, only 27% of eligible beneficiaries had gotten the third dose, according to ministry data.

Data from the government’s CoWIN database shows that after that, the numbers stayed low; from October 1 to December 20, only 96.3 lakh third doses were given.

Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu were named as the top five states contributing to the daily case load at the discussion. 84% of the daily new cases recorded on December 20 came from these five states.

The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) Chairman Dr. N K Arora, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director General Rajiv Bahl, and the secretaries of health, department of pharmaceuticals, department of biotechnology, and Ayush were all present at the meeting on Wednesday.

To keep an eye on the situation, the government will convene once again the following week.

Bhushan wrote in his letter on Tuesday that there has been a “sudden burst of cases” in China, Japan, the United States, Republic of Korea, and Brazil.

The policy for overseas arrivals has not changed as of yet, except from heightened surveillance. The requirement for a negative RT-PCR or a complete immunisation certificate has been eliminated by the protocol revision made last month. According to the recommended primary immunisation regimen against Covid-19 in their country, arriving passengers should “ideally be completely vaccinated.”



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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