Centre to states, COVID curbs in India, covid returns

New Delhi: Ahead of the festive season, the Center on Friday asked states and Union territories to take measures and ensure adequate ventilation for indoor gatherings and wearing of masks in crowded places.

In a letter to states and UTs, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan has stressed on regular monitoring and reporting of cases of influenza-like illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) in all health facilities in the district. increasing trend of cases.

These cases can also be tested for COVID-19, Bhushan said.

Ensure larger samples for whole-genome sequencing among positive community COVID-19 samples to enable timely detection of new variants in the country, he wrote.

“With the upcoming festive season and New Year celebrations in mind, necessary public health measures and other arrangements should be put in place to minimize the risk of increased disease transmission, maintaining and strengthening focus on trial-and-error treatment vaccination and adherence. Appropriate anti-Covid behavior, ie wearing a mask, hand and respiratory hygiene and respecting physical distance,” he said.

Bhushan urged states to ensure adequate testing in all regions, maintaining the recommended quota of RT-PCR and antigen tests and balancing the capacity of existing hospitals in terms of bed availability, logistical requirements and redeployment of health workers. To prepare for an increase in cases in the clinical management of COVID-19.

This can be tested by doing “dry walks” in hospitals, he said.

“Vaccination efforts against COVID-19 should be strengthened by creating community awareness. All states and UTs” require special attention to increase coverage of preventive dose.

“Regarding the preparation for the upcoming festivities, it is essential to launch all measures with important stakeholders, such as event organizers, businessmen, market associations, etc. to avoid overcrowding, to ensure adequate ventilation especially in indoor environments, to wear masks in places where crowds gather”, he said in the letter.

In recent weeks, cases of COVID-19 around the world have been on the rise. India, however, continues to show a steady downward trajectory since the past few months and is currently reporting an average of 153 new cases every day across the country, the letter said.

Bhushan also stressed that the detailed operational guidelines for revising the surveillance strategy for Covid-19 shared by the Union Ministry are effectively followed.

Meanwhile, the Health ministry is considering re-introduction of mandatory air suvidha forms for travelers coming from China and other countries reporting high number of Covid cases with a negative report of RT-PCR test done 72 hours before travel or complete proof of vaccination.

It is possible that a decision on this will be taken next week, after monitoring the global situation.

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