Karnataka, on Monday, made wearing of mask in public places compulsory while several other states including West Bengal, Delhi, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have also ramped up the preparations to tackle the COVID-19 situation after over 20 foreign returnees arriving from high-risk countries were tested positive for the virus.
As per the Centre’s guidelines, two per cent of international passengers arriving at Indian airports are to be tested.
Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya held a virtual meeting with the Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Monday on Covid-19 preparedness, situation, and awareness.
Two persons returning from abroad have tested positive for the Coronavirus infection at the Kolkata Airport, airport sources said on Monday. Both samples have been sent for genome sequencing. According to sources, one of the positive passengers came from Dubai on Saturday while another came from Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur. Patients are kept in quarantine in Beliaghata ID Hospital.
Meanwhile, the West Bengal Health Department scheduled a virtual meeting with all hospitals in the State on Monday, to assess their preparedness in tackling Covid 19 in case of a possible fourth wave in the country.
Speaking on Covid-19 preparedness, Debjyoti Dey, Assistant Superintendent of Maniktala ESI hospital, said that the hospital is ready to fight against Covid. “We have isolation wards ready for the Covid Positive patients,” Dey said.
“No one has yet been admitted. But our doctors and nursing staff are ready, we have already received some instructions from the health department and are working on it,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Karnataka Health department was concerned over the development of 12 passengers arriving from high-risk countries testing positive for Covid at the KempeGowda International Airport Bengaluru, sources confirmed on Monday.
According to authorities, a 37-year-old man, who arrived from China, had tested positive for
Covid at Bengaluru. The other 11 passengers came from high-risk countries. Four of them have been quarantined in a private hospital and the rest passengers have been kept in home quarantine.
The Karnataka government on Monday made wearing of masks in public places compulsory as a preventive method to tackle the evolving Covid situation in the state.
It also has also released guidelines for the New Year, limiting the celebration time.
Revenue Minister R. Ashoka, talking to reporters after holding a meeting with the officials of the Health and Disaster Management Departments, announced the decision of making wearing of masks compulsory. “However, fines will not be imposed for not wearing masks as of now,” he said.
Meanwhile, four international travellers from Myanmar were tested positive for the Coronavirus infection at the Delhi airport. The Genome sequencing of their samples is being done, the sources said.
“Four of the 690 Covid-19 sample tests of the International travellers from Myanmar at Delhi Airport have tested positive for the infection. The infected persons have been admitted at the Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital (RML) hospital in Delhi and their samples have been taken for genome sequencing,” people aware of the matter said.
Following the surge in Covid cases globally, the Delhi government has alerted all its hospitals and directed them to ramp up the preparations for potential Covid cases that might be reported in the future.
The city government has approved a budget of Rs 104 crore for government hospitals for procurement of general medicines and preparation for any Covid emergency situation.
Meanwhile in Bihar, four foreign nationals who came to attend the religious preaching of Tibetan Spiritual Leader Dalai Lama at Gaya have been found to be Covid positive, raising fears of a surge in the number of Covid cases at the religious place. The foreigners have currently been isolated at a hotel in BodhGaya, said Civil surgeon Dr Ranjan Kumar Singh.
He also said random corona screening of the passengers arriving at Gaya International Airport is being done during which the four passengers were found to be Covid positive. “The four foreigners had come to Bodhgaya to attend Dalai Lama’s religious programme to be held from December 29 to 31. One of them is from Myanmar and the other three are residents of Bangkok,” he said.
“The condition of all four is normal and they are being treated. Following the positive cases, the Covid detection process has been accelerated,” he added.
The testing for COVID-19 is being carried out at the Gaya international airport and Gaya railway station.
Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh government has activated the administrative machinery to test Covid preparedness and management and will conduct mock drills at medical colleges and hospitals across the state on Tuesday.
This comes after two fresh cases were reported from Unnao and Agra.
The government, however, said there was no need to panic as the situation in Uttar Pradesh was under control.
Deputy chief minister Brajesh Pathak, who holds the health portfolio, said, “We have received information about a Covid-positive patient in Agra and his sample has been sent for genome testing. There is nothing to worry as the situation is under control and the patient is in home isolation.”
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has already held a meeting with top officials and experts to take stock of the Covid situation in the country. The entire country is gearing up for a possible fourth wave of Covid-19, with the new Omicron sub-variant BF.7, which is said to be the reason behind the surge in Covid cases in China, being detected in India.