Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Covid: Govt starts random testing for international travelers, version behind surge in China in India

Covid-19 is not over yet, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Wednesday as the government issued an alert following a surge in coronavirus cases in neighboring China and other countries. With Christmas and New Year festivities round the corner, state governments have been asked to step up efforts to contain any possible Covid spread as those brought back to India. Random testing at airports for international travelers,

The move comes amid growing concerns over the spread of Covid in China following the recent easing of strict lockdown measures. Hospitals and medical facilities in China are overwhelmed with patients. One epidemiologist has estimated that 60 percent of the country’s population could be infected in the next few months.

Explained | BF.7 What is stress? Omicron subvariant responsible for China’s COVID surge

COVID-19 in India: Top developments you need to know

  • India is seeing a steady decline in cases, with average daily infections falling to 158 in the week ending December 19. On Wednesday, India recorded 131 fresh Covid cases and three deaths. The number of active cases came down to 3,408.
  • Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya chaired a Covid review meeting with experts and senior officials and stressed the need for continuous surveillance. The minister said, “Covid is not over yet. I have directed all concerned to be vigilant and strengthen surveillance. We are prepared to deal with any situation.”
  • The government said that random sample testing will be done at airports for passengers arriving from China and other countries.
  • People have been advised to wear masks in crowded places And the government appealed to the citizens to take booster doses. It also advised the elderly and those with comorbidities to take precautions.
  • The government has directed the states to ensure genome sequencing of all positive cases in the country. States have been told to send Covid samples of all positive patients to laboratories run by INSACOG, a platform under the health ministry that studies and monitors different variants of the coronavirus.
  • Four cases of Omicron subvariant BF.7, the factor behind the current surge in Covid cases in China, have been detected in India – two in Gujarat and two in Odisha. PTI reported that in Gujarat, both the patients, who had foreign travel history, have recovered.
  • The new Omicron subvariant BF.7 is known to spread very rapidly and has a short incubation period.
  • Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar said the government will also start screening international passengers at the Bengaluru airport in view of the sudden spurt in Covid cases globally.
  • Delhi’s chief minister Arvind Kejriwal will call an emergency meeting on Thursday and said that the government is monitoring the Covid-19 situation.
  • Gujarat Health Minister Hrishikesh Patel has also asked officials to conduct “compulsory” testing of travelers arriving in the state from other countries.

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