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‘Increased testing, stress on using masks’: States step up vigil amid global Covid surge | India News

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NEW DELHI: With coronavirus cases soaring in countries like China, US and Japan, the Centre on Thursday advised enhanced surveillance and directed all states to review preparedness for Covid.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high level meet, where in he cautioned people against complacency and urged everyone to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour.
Here is a look at the new guidelines different states have issued to prevent spread of Covid
Amid fears of Covid spreading again, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said that the government is prepared to deal with the situation if Covid spreads again.
Meanwhile, in view of the same – the scope of testing has been widened and those with SARS and breathing issues are being mandatorily tested using RT-PCR method.
He further added that 8,000 beds are ready for patients, and bed capacity can be increased to 36,000, if the need arises.
The Maharashtra government has decided to conduct thermal testing on 2% of the international arrivals in the state from Monday.
It has also decided to issue an advisory for the children and senior citizens to wear masks, avoid crowded places and maintain social distancing of 5-10 feet as per the earlier norms.
The Karnataka government has announced it will make wearing masks mandatory indoors and also in public gatherings.
And, at least two per cent of the international passengers arriving in Karnataka will be randomly tested at the airports in the state.
The Rajasthan government has directed chief medical and health officers of all districts to start screening Covid samples for genome sequencing to detect the new BF.7 sub-variant of the coronavirus’ Omicron strain.
They have also been asked to identify high-risk groups amid a spurt in Covid cases in some parts of the world.
Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath also reviewed the Covid situation at a high level meeting in the state. Adityanath directed officials to monitor the new coronavirus variant and ramp up testing.
Additionally, he asked the officials to conduct genome sequencing of fresh Covid cases and instructed them to spread awareness about wearing masks in public places such as hospitals, buses, railway stations and markets.
“It is possible that there may be an increase in new cases in the coming days, so we have to be alert. This is not the time to panic, but to be alert and careful,” he said.
West Bengal
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee said that West Bengal government will not be planning any restrictions for Christmas Gangasagar mela in view of new Covid-19 variant, as it has not been detected in state.
Punjab government has asked its officials to also step up the number of Covid testing to 10,000 in the state, amid a spike in cases in other countries.
Meanwhile, chief minister Bhagwant Mann said instructions have also been issued to all civil surgeons in the state to ensure that samples of all positive cases be sent for genome sequencing.
(With inputs from agencies)

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