Here's how states are gearing up for possible COVID-19 outbreak
Amid concerns over the spread of the new COVID-19 Omicron sub-variant BF.7 that reportedly triggered a new wave of cases in China, several states are ramping up testing, ordering local authorities to be vigilant and recommending COVID-appropriate behavior for citizens. States are adopting an extra cautious approach, especially with the onset of the festive season, including Christmas and New Year.
Why does this story matter?
- The recent spike in coronavirus cases in China has put the Indian government on high alert.
- On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tabled a high-level meeting with experts to review India's COVID-19 situation.
- India has so far reported four cases of Omicron sub-variant BF.7, which is apparently driving the latest increase in coronavirus cases in China.
Tamil Nadu ramps up COVID restrictions
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin ordered authorities to screen all passengers arriving at the international airport in Chennai for COVID-19 symptoms. He also urged the public not to panic over the latest Omicron outbreak and stated that the state government is fully prepared to assist its people. Furthermore, he also called for strict compliance with the standard guidelines for coronavirus management.
Karnataka makes masks compulsory in closed spaces
The Karnataka state government released guidelines on Thursday and made it compulsory to wear face masks in closed spaces like offices, pubs, restaurants, bars, malls, trains, and buses. People with coronavirus symptoms or respiratory issues have also been instructed to get tested and to self-isolate immediately. Authorities have been instructed to ramp up the booster dose vaccination process.
West Bengal urges people to get vaccinated
During a conference with district chief medical administrators, West Bengal Chief Secretary Harikrishna Dwivedi stated that those who still haven't completed their COVID-19 vaccination shots should arrange to do so and urged all hospitals in the state to stock up on testing kits.
Start campaign to administer booster doses: Uttarakhand CM
Pushkar Singh Dhami, Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, chaired a high-level meeting with the top officials and instructed them to kick-start a campaign to administer COVID-19 booster doses across the state. The officials have also been directed to build camps from Friday itself. All districts in the state have been asked to activate operational control rooms and conduct genome sequencing of all new coronavirus cases.
Jharkhand ready to fight fresh coronavirus outbreak
Arun Kumar Singh, the Additional Chief Secretary (Health) of Jharkhand, sent a letter to all deputy commissioners on December 21, ordering them to get ready for the "whole genome sequencing of positive samples of COVID-19" to track the variants, reported The Indian Express.
On restrictions on Christmas, New Year celebrations in Kerala
After meeting with officials, Kerala Health Minister Veena George instructed all districts to strengthen surveillance amid the possibility of a spike in COVID-19 cases in the state. The number of tests would be increased, and genomic sequencing of coronavirus-positive people would also be conducted. Furthermore, George confirmed that there would not be any curb on the upcoming Christmas and New Year celebrations in Kerala.
Shinde reviews Maharashtra's COVID-19 situation
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has reviewed the state's COVID-19 situation. Shinde asked ministers to make sure that health facilities were ready in those respective districts. The Maharashtra CM also asked the Chief Secretary to guarantee that the five-point program of testing, tracking, treating, vaccinating, and ensuring COVID-appropriate behavior is obeyed in the state.
Adityanath asks officials to ramp up testing in UP
Yogi Adityanath, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, reviewed the state's COVID-19 situation on Thursday and asked all authorities to keep monitoring the new coronavirus variant, ramp up testing, and conduct genome sequencing of fresh cases.
Odisha, Rajasthan ramp up COVID-19 monitoring
The Odisha government has instructed its district collectors to be prepared for coronavirus surveillance and genome sequencing of any possible positive samples. Meanwhile, Rajasthan Health Department sent a letter to the chief medical and health officers on Thursday in all the districts and instructed regular screening and conducting door-to-door surveys to identify individuals suffering from influenza-like infections.
Follow coronavirus-appropriate behavior: Gujarat Health Minister
Rushikesh Patel, Health Minister of Gujarat, stated that owing to the immunity developed in the country in general, particularly in Gujarat, following COVID-19 vaccination drives, "a situation has been created whereby we can live peacefully." However, Patel also asked everyone to follow coronavirus-appropriate behavior.