Next 40-days crucial for India as COVID cases increasing at fast pace, says Union Health Minister

COVID is once again spreading its uncanny paws across the globe. China has already reported a large number of positive cases including deaths. The situation in China is grave and people are scared as the new variant of COVID is on the prowl. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued am advisory stating WHO will keep a close eye on the developments on China and will take adequate action after taking stock of the situation. United of States of America (USA) too has issued an alert on travelers.

Other countries too that witnessed a massive outbreak previously have taken up the recent jolt seriously and are mulling over issuing strictures making COVID protocols mandatory.

Back home in India, the situation at present is not that grave but Union Health Ministry has sounded an alert. Earlier, on Tuesday, Health Ministry conducted a mock drill across the country which was attended by the Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandviya himself. Talking to the media, the minister said the situation is not grave but there is a need to be more careful, as the saying goes, precaution is better than cure and people must follow the COVID protocols – Wearing masks, using hand sanitizers, and maintaining social distancing. “We are not trying to scare people but it’s an initiative to make people aware of the situation which is not serious at the moment but may turn serious any moment. However, there will be less possibility of pandemic if people take precautions”, said Mandviya who himself was at Delhi’s Safdurjung Hospital to take stock of the COVID preparedness.

With China witnessing a steep increase in the number of COVID cases due to coronavirus variant B.F7, the Union Health Ministry on Wednesday said the next 40 days would be crucial for India, as it might see a surge in infections in January. There are cases pouring in where travelers have been detected with COVID positivity in Kolkata, Odisha, Bihar, and Delhi. This has increased the fear of COVID more and on Thursday, the Union Health Ministry has issued a few advisories:

(1) Anybody who travels to India from China, Japan, Korea, Singapore will have to show the the COVID tests reports.
(2) Filling up of ‘air suvidha’ forms and 72-hour-old RT-PCR tests could be made mandatory from next week for passengers coming from China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore.
(3) On arrival the passengers will have to undergo a RT-PCR test at the airport.
(4) If the person is found to be positive then he or she will be sent to quarantine.
(5) The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has recommended that doctors receive the fourth dose of the COVID vaccine, but the Union Health Ministry has requested data from NTAGI before making a policy decision.

According to a statement released, the ministry said the average daily cases between October 7-13 were 2,408 (1.05%), which later reduced to 153 (0.14%) between December 16-22.

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