Airport screening, masks up in India as China tackles huge Covid surge| Top 10 | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Airport screening, masks up in India as China tackles huge Covid surge| Top 10

By | Edited by Swati Bhasin
Dec 24, 2022 07:02 AM IST

China is said to be dealing with what has been called as one of the worst-ever Covid outbreak.

India is set to begin random testing of 2 per cent of international passengers at airports from Saturday in what has been one of the several preparatory steps with many parts of the world, including China, witnessing a resurgence in spread of coronavirus. Three years after the first Covid cases were reported from China’s Wuhan city, the country is again tackling what has been labeled by some as the world’s worst outbreak. In the first 20 days of December, nearly 18 per cent of the population - or about 248 million people - may have contracted the virus, a report by Bloomberg has highlighted, citing data from China's National Health Commission. Meanwhile, India is taking all preventative measures against the fourth wave of Covid.


Here are top developments in this regard:

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1) Masks in crowded places are not mandatory but highly recommended. On Friday, in a letter to states, the central government reminded for the need of Covid-appropriate behaviour as revelers soak in the Christmas spirit and ring in New York in the coming days.

2) "Considering the upcoming festive season and new year celebrations, there is need to put in place requisite public health measures and other arrangements to minimise risk of increase in transmission of the disease by maintaining and strengthening focus on test-track-treat-vaccination and adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour, i.e. use of mask, hand and respiratory hygiene and adherence to physical distancing," Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote to states.

3) Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya also held a meeting with state health ministers amid China Covid surge worries. “Emphasised on the need to be alert in Covid-19 review meeting with state health ministers. There is no need to panic. We have 3 years of experience in pandemic management. The central government will provide all the support to combat COVID-19. We will take action as per the needs,” he wrote on Twitter following the meeting.

4) Next week, on Tuesday, countrywide drills are to be conducted at hospitals to ensure that health care centres do not buckle under the pressure like before.

5) Dr Mandaviya on Thursday had informed Parliament about random testing of international passengers at airports, which is set to begin on Saturday.

6) Meanwhile, state governments have also been taking stock of the situation at individual levels. On Friday, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister held a review meeting. "Covid-19 is again knocking on our doors. Although our state is safe for the time being, a new Covid strain has been detected in the country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given certain instructions to stepping up vigil and preparedness after chairing a meeting of chief ministers. Today, I also convened a meeting to take stock of the state's Covid situation and our preparedness to deal with any contingency,” he said post the meeting.

7) Yogi Adityanath too - for a second consecutive day - reviewed preparedness. "Although the situation is completely normal in the state now, still we have to be cautious... This is not the time to panic but to be alert and careful," he was quoted as saying in reports.

8) The Mamata-Banerjee led West Bengal government told Centre on Friday that it was “ready and alert” to combat any situation with regards to Covid.

9) BF.7 is the variant of concern this time, which is believed to have led to the China Covid surge. BF.7 is a subvariant of Omicron, which had led to worldwide spike in Covid cases around the same time last year.

10) In the United States, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday said that highly contagious Omicron subvariant XBB jumped to 18% of national prevalence.

(With inputs from PTI, ANI, Reuters)

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