Restrictive curbs not needed yet, says govt | Latest News India

There are no plans yet to impose strict Covid-related restrictions, including flight bans from countries with high infection rates, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Friday, citing the “stable situation” in India.

Mandaviya made the comments on a day when he held a meeting with health ministers of states and Union territories, and his ministry issued separate guidelines asking people across the country to exercise caution while celebrating year-end festivals.

“The situation of the country is not one that would deserve the implementation of strict measures. We are doing well and after all this time, people have become very aware and are taking measures on their own. He does not want to cause panic when it is absolutely not necessary,” Mandaviya said at a media conference on Friday.

India’s Covid-19 statistics have remained stable or shown a downward trend, data from the Ministry of Health showed. The country’s test positivity rate was declining each week, with only 0.14% of samples found to be infected in the week ending December 22.

The ministry, citing its data, said that currently eight states and four Union territories have no active cases.

“We should continue to follow the proper behavior against Covid and take the booster, and hopefully we will be good,” said Mandaviya, who held a series of meetings and briefed the Prime Minister on the situation on Thursday, along with other senior government officials. .

As part of monitoring emergency preparedness, the health ministry will conduct a simulation on Tuesday in all major hospitals across the country, where manpower, oxygen supply and capacity of beds, ventilators and medicines will be tested.

“It’s like preparing for war, we have to be well prepared for it. A drill is an effective way to check preparation. What is important is that there is no need to panic,” said the Minister of Health.

In a review with state ministers, the health minister stressed that the Center and states should work together and in a spirit of cooperation as was done during the pre-pandemic upsurge.

He reiterated his ministry’s earlier communiqués asking states to strengthen their surveillance system for whole-genome sequencing of positive samples to track variants through the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG). Emphasis should be placed on health center-based care; pan-respiratory virus surveillance; community-based care; and sanitation/waste water surveillance, he added.

He also highlighted the need to “reinvigorate the collective system and remove the feeling of calmness and fatigue.

States were also asked to rapidly increase from the current rate of 79 tests per million, as of the week of December 22, and also increase the share of RT-PCR tests to around 70%.

The Minister of Health advised the states to increase the vaccination of all eligible people, especially the elderly and vulnerable population groups.

Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan issued detailed instructions to the states asking them to put in place necessary public health measures and other arrangements to minimize the risk of increased transmission of the disease.

“Regarding the preparation for the upcoming festivities, it is essential to launch all measures with important actors, such as event organizers, businessmen, market associations, etc., to avoid overcrowding, to ensure adequate ventilation, especially in indoor environments, to wear masks. gathering crowds wherever it is,” Bhushan said in his letter to the states.

Attention should also be paid to the trial treatment vaccine and respect for appropriate Covid behaviors: use of a mask, hand and respiratory hygiene and respect for physical distance to prevent and detect cases early.

Even experts say these are basic precautions to take to stop the spread of respiratory diseases, and Covid is no different.

“If visiting people and indoor spaces, people should be very careful and strictly follow the appropriate Covid behaviors, such as wearing a mask and physical distancing. And more importantly, take the booster, if not already taken “, said Dr. GC Khilnani, former head of Pulmonary Medicine at Indian Medical Sciences, Delhi.

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