Covid news you need to know today

This comes days after the government, while asking people to wear masks in public places and receive booster doses of the Covid vaccine, said there was “no change in the country so far as far as aviation is concerned”.

Here are the new steps the government has announced to keep a possible Covid wave at bay.

RT-PCR tests for some travelers

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Saturday said RT-PCR tests would be made mandatory for travelers from China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Thailand entering India.

Travelers from these countries will have to undergo a thermal screening at the airports and those who are positive for Covid or have a fever will be quarantined.

Mandaviya, speaking to reporters in Gandhinagar, also said that passengers from these countries have to fill the ‘Air Suvidha’ form to declare their health status.

The The Air Suvidha portal was launched in August 2020 whereby international travelers were required to submit travel details and Covid vaccination or test status. The pre-arrival self-check-in portal allowed authorities to find out whether a person was arriving from a high-risk region. The requirement to do so was removed in November.

“Yesterday, the Covid-19 alert was issued. People are being made aware through newspaper advertisements. In Parliament, I made a statement where I asked people to use mandatory masks, maintain social distance and follow proper behavior against COVID, the BF of the virus in India in the future. 7 to save it from the new variant,” Mandaviya mentioned. As PTI said.

In addition, PTI reported that the Ministry of Health has asked the Ministry of Civil Aviation to ensure random testing at airports of two percent of passengers arriving on each international flight from Saturday to minimize the risk of introducing any new variant of the coronavirus. country.

The Center urges states to ensure availability of oxygen

In view of the oxygen crisis in parts of the country due to the second wave of Covid-19, the Center on Saturday asked the states and Union Territories to ensure availability of Liquid Medical Oxygen, adequate inventory of cylinders and functional life support equipment such as ventilators. in hospitals

According to PTI, the health ministry has asked the states and UTs to ensure that the Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) oxygen generating plants are kept fully functional and regular simulation runs are conducted.

In a letter to all states and UTs, Additional Secretary, Health Ministry Manohar Agnani said that the functioning and maintenance of such medical infrastructure is very important to deal with any eventuality, even though the number of cases in the country is currently low.

“Availability of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) should be ensured in health facilities and uninterrupted supply chain for their replenishment. Adequate inventory of oxygen cylinders is maintained along with backup stocks and robust replenishment system,” the letter said, according to PTI.

Oxygen control rooms should be re-energized to immediately address the problems and challenges related to oxygen, the letter said.

Genome sequencing to verify new variants

At the beginning of the week, on Tuesday, The Center directed all states and UTs to sequence all positive Covid samples to check for possible new variants every day.

In a letter, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said: “In view of the sudden number of cases seen in Japan, the United States of America, the Republic of Korea, Brazil and China, it is imperative to prepare full genome sequencing of the positive case samples from the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium ( INSACOG) to track variants through the network.This exercise will allow the timely detection of new variants circulating in the country, facilitating the adoption of the necessary public health measures.

The Covid situation in China

Hospitals and morgues in parts of China are overwhelmed as cases of Covid spread, the AP reported on Saturday.
According to the AP, while the Chinese government has reported only seven Covid-19 deaths since the zero-Covid restrictions were relaxed on December 7, this is likely an underestimate.

“On Tuesday, a Chinese health official said China only counts deaths from pneumonia or respiratory failure in its official death toll from COVID-19. Experts predict between 1 million and 2 million deaths in China next year, and the World Health Organization has warned Beijing to count The mode “underestimates the actual death toll,” the AP report said.

Experts point out that the situation in India today is very different from China, as most people here have natural immunity through previous infections and have also been vaccinated.

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