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Covid-19 in world LIVE Updates: 25 crore infected in China in 20 days as virus spreads

Airports in the nation have begun randomly testing foreign travellers as Covid variant BF.7 panic grips the nation as of right now (24 December). Airlines are obligated to instruct their crew members to lead and convey selected 2% of overseas passengers to the testing centre at the airport, per a directive from the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

Additionally, according to the health minister on Saturday, India now requires travellers entering from China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Thailand to have a Covid-19 negative test report.

After Beijing abruptly reversed its zero-Covid policy, the Covid situation in China has become a subject of concern for the rest of the globe. According to research groups, the death toll could reach millions due to concerns that new mutations may appear as a new wave of illnesses quickly spreads over the enormous country.

Random testing of int’l passengers begins at Indian airports

As part of increased anti-Covid measures, the government announced on Saturday that RT-PCR testing would be required for travellers from China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Thailand. In addition, the government asked states to make sure that hospitals have enough medical oxygen and life support systems like ventilators.

Under new regulations that mandate testing of 2% of the passengers arriving on each foreign flight, random coronavirus testing of international passengers began on Saturday at airports including those in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Pune, Indore, and Goa.

Maha records 38 new COVID-19 case, zero fatality; active tally at 136

On Saturday, at least 38 additional coronavirus cases were found in Maharashtra, bringing the total number of illnesses in the state to 81,36,479, according to a state health department official. The official stated that the death toll remained at 1,48,414 while the number of recoveries increased to 79,87,928 after 35 people overcame the infection on the previous day. The amount of swab samples analysed in the last 24 hours brought the state’s total number of tests performed to 8,58,42,380.

25 crore maybe infected in China in 20 days

Almost 250 million people in China may have been affected by Covid-19 in just 20 days after the ‘zero-covid policy’ was diluted in the first week of the month, according to radio Free Asia citing leaked government documents circulating on social media.

Ensure availability of oxygen at hospitals: Centre tells states

As the new variant of Covid-19 grapples the world, the Indian government on Saturday asked states to ensure adequate oxygen cylinders and functional life support equipment such as ventilators are available at hospitals.

RT-PCR test mandatory for arrivals from China: Centre

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya announced that the RT-PCR test has been made mandatory for passengers coming from five countries including China.

Mandaviya said people coming from China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Thailand will have to undergo RT-PCR test.

Jharkhand CM to hold a meeting on Covid-19 on 26 Dec

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren is likely to hold a high-level meeting on 26 December (Monday) to review the state government’s preparations for Covid-19 situation, an official said on Saturday.

Jharkhand Health minister Banna Gupta informed the Union Health minister Mansukh Mandaviya about the state’s preparations to deal with the new variants of the disease.

Gupta sought information about the symptoms of the Omicron sub variant BF.7 and also requested the Centre to provide guidelines related to its symptoms and treatment. He also requested to release ₹110 crore pending with the Centre under the disaster fund.

Covid in India: No need to ban international flights, say experts

India’s present Covid scenario does not warrant restricting international flights or imposing a lockdown, but there is a need for strengthened surveillance and vigilance because of the rise in cases in some countries, experts have said.

Besides, a fresh outbreak of severe Covid cases and hospitalisation is unlikely as people in India have the advantage of ‘hybrid immunity’ i.e. natural immunity due to infection reinforced by vaccination.

Former AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria stated that past experiences show that banning flights is not effective in halting the transmission of infection, he said. “Moreover, data suggests that the Omicron sub-variant BF.7, which is driving the surge in China, has already been found in our country.”

Asked whether a lockdown could be needed in the coming days, Dr Guleria said, “A fresh outbreak of severe Covid cases and hospitalisation is unlikely as the Indian population already has hybrid immunity because of a very good vaccination coverage and natural infection.”

Dr Neeraj Gupta, a professor in the Department of Pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine at Safdarjung Hospital, said India needs to exercise caution given the surge of Covid-19 cases in China and some other countries but a “lockdown-like situation is not envisaged in near future given the current India scenario”.

Blood shortage in China as Covid infections surge

The rise in Covid cases in China is causing blood shortages at hospitals across multiple provinces and cities. The Blood Center of Shandong Province, the second most populous in China, issued red alert warnings for insufficient inventory for two blood types in recent days. Red alert is the highest level of warning, which means the blood in store can only meet the dosage of acute and critically ill patients for three days.

China reports zero Covid deaths

China reported zero new Covid-19 deaths for 23 December, the same number as the previous day, the National Health Commission said on Saturday.

The country reported 4,128 new symptomatic Covid-19 infections yesterday, compared with 3,761 a day earlier.

Excluding imported infections, China reported 4,103 new local cases, up from 3,696 a day earlier.

China reports zero Covid deaths

China reported zero new Covid-19 deaths for 23 December, the same number as the previous day, the National Health Commission said on Saturday.

The country reported 4,128 new symptomatic Covid-19 infections yesterday, compared with 3,761 a day earlier.

Excluding imported infections, China reported 4,103 new local cases, up from 3,696 a day earlier.

2% international air passengers to be tested at Mumbai airport today

2% of international travellers arriving at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport starting on Saturday would be subjected to post-arrival Covid testing, according to Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL).

The samples must be turned in before the passengers can proceed on their next flight. The laboratory must make arrangements for sending the passengers a straight digital copy of the test results. The RT-PCR testing facility for international travellers arriving at CSMIA is situated in the pre-immigration portion of the international arrival concourse, following the health screening counters. Passengers who have been chosen at random by the airlines will have 24/7 free access to the testing facility.

Covid BF.7 strain in India: CM Yogi Adityanath says, ‘Be alert and careful’

Highlighting the recent surge in Covid cases across several countries, including neighbouring China, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said, “Although, the situation is completely normal in the state now, we have to be cautious. We have to be alert. This is not the time to panic but to be alert and careful. Make people aware of the need to wear face masks in crowded public places like hospitals, buses, railway stations and markets. Activate all public address systems”.

Madhya Pradesh CM chairs Covid review meet says no need to panic

Madhya Pradesh government is on high alert regarding the new Omicron sub-variant BF.7. “Covid-19 is again knocking on our doors. Although our state is safe for the time being, a new Covid strain has been detected in the country.There is no need to panic but one needs to be very careful. We have decided to start administering booster doses to those who have not taken it yet. We have launched an initiative to administer sufficient doses,” Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said.

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