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Centre advises states to ensure health infra, drugs availability amid Omicron threat

In a virtual meeting with states and UTs on the public health response measures and preparedness amid reports of Omicron variant, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan advised states to not to let their guards down and keep a strict vigil on the international passengers coming to the country through various airports, ports and land border crossings.

IANS | New Delhi |

The Centre on Tuesday advised the states and UTs to ensure preparedness of health infrastructure like availability of ICU, O2 beds, ventilators, etc. and to implement ECRP-II, with focus on rural areas and for paediatric cases.

It emphasised on the early implementation of sanctioned PSA plants, along with ensuring seamless supply of logistics, drugs, O2 cylinders amid looming threat of Omicron infection.

In a virtual meeting with states and UTs on the public health response measures and preparedness amid reports of Omicron variant, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan advised states to not to let their guards down and keep a strict vigil on the international passengers coming to the country through various airports, ports and land border crossings.

The states have been advised to undertake effective surveillance of international passengers. The testing of samples of international travelers coming from “At Risk” countries on first day and of specified category of passengers on eighth day needs to be scrupulously done. The states have been asked to send all positive samples for genome sequencing to INSACOG Labs promptly. States will undertake contact tracing of positive individuals and follow up for 14 days.

The states need to ensure ample testing in each district while maintaining RT-PCR ratio. They will have to continue monitoring of areas where recent cluster of positive cases have emerged. An effective and regular monitoring of home isolation cases, with physical visits to homes of passengers from “at-risk” countries will be done regularly. The status of those who are negative after the test on the 8th day to also be physically monitored by the state administration.

All the states have been advised for meetings with BOI, APHO, PHO and other relevant officials to ensure smooth implementation of the new Guidelines for International Travelers which come into effect from midnight.

The State Surveillance Officer will have to monitor daily to track and contain the spread of transmission of any Variant of Concerns in the country, especially from any recent clusters of positive cases. The regular dissemination of evidence and science-based information on the merging scenario will be shared with the masses through weekly media briefings.