PM Modi asks for extreme vigilance at a Covid review meeting; random post-arrival Covid testing of 2% of passengers on each overseas trip

On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned against complacency, urged vigilant vigilance, and demanded that existing monitoring procedures, particularly at international airports, be intensified.

New Delhi, India As the number of Covid cases in China and other countries rises, Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned against complacency, urged extreme vigilance, and instructed that ongoing monitoring procedures, particularly at international airports, be intensified.””Covid is not over yet,” Modi said at a high-level Covid review meeting, urging people to wear masks in crowded places, even as the Union Health Ministry asked the Civil Aviation Ministry to ensure random post-arrival Covid testing of 2% of arriving passengers on each international flight at airports beginning December 24, to reduce the risk of any new variant of coronavirus ingress into the country.

Amid mounting worries over the surge of Covid cases in China and other nations, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya stated that the priority is to guarantee that no unknown version of the virus reaches India while also removing any restriction to travel. Chinese health specialists have cautioned that a fresh wave of coronavirus infections that has hit China may result in new varieties, according to a report from Beijing.

“We are monitoring the issue (in China). We hope that the epidemic is effectively eliminated by all of humanity “When questioned about the rise of Covid cases in China, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi stated during a press conference. Several states also increased Covid surveillance and introduced a slew of new policies.

While Karnataka has decided to conduct mandatory testing for Influenza Like Illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) and to require face masks in closed spaces and air-conditioned rooms, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin has directed that all passengers arriving at Chennai’s international airport be screened for Covid symptoms.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla recommended MPs to wear masks and raise awareness about Covid-appropriate behaviour in Parliament. Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar made a similar call, saying the House must set an example for the nation. Dhankhar and Birla arrived at the House disguised. In the Rajya Sabha, Modi also donned a mask.

According to a statement published by the Prime Minister’s Office, while chairing a meeting to examine the Covid situation in the country, Modi asked everyone to observe Covid-appropriate behaviour at all times, including wearing masks in crowded public areas, especially with the forthcoming festive season (PMO).

He emphasised the importance of maintaining the complete Covid infrastructure at all levels at a high level of preparation in terms of equipment, procedures, and human resources.

Modi asked governments to evaluate Covid-specific facilities to guarantee operational preparedness of hospital infrastructure, such as oxygen cylinders, PSA plants, ventilators, and human resources, and suggested that prophylactic doses be promoted, particularly for fragile and elderly populations.

He also ordered officials to increase testing and genome sequencing activities.

According to the PMO statement, states have been urged to share a greater number of samples with the authorised INSACOG Genome Sequencing Laboratories (IGSLs) for genome sequencing on a daily basis.

This will aid in the prompt discovery of newer varieties circulating in the country, as well as the implementation of necessary public health measures, according to the report.

According to the report, the prime minister stressed that Covid is not finished and instructed officials to increase continuing monitoring efforts, particularly at international airports.

Officials also informed Modi that India has seen a steady reduction in instances, with average daily cases decreasing to 153 and weekly positive lowering to 0.14 percent in the week ending December 22.

However, during the previous six weeks, 5.9 lakh daily average cases have been reported internationally.