COVID 4th wave scare: Karnataka announces measures for New Year festivities; states to hold mock drill
All states will take part in a mock drill to check the country's preparedness against a possible coronavirus wave, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Monday, as a crippling coronavirus wave swept across China. Elaborating on the contours of the drill, the minister said all anti-COVID hospitals across the country will take part in the exercise and check their preparedness, while the health ministers of these states will oversee. Meanwhile, taking a pre-emptive strike at the virus, the Karnataka government has made wearing masks mandatory at schools, colleges and places where New Year 2023 is expected to be celebrated.
At a meeting of doctors from the Indian Medical Association, the minister said the exercise will help check the country's operational readiness, which will help fill the gaps in the public health sector. He added that the authorities have started randomly testing passengers for the coronavirus. On Monday, India logged 196 new coronavirus infections.
Five foreign nationals tested positive in Bihar. They had arrived in the state on a pilgrimage.
One person who arrived from China has tested positive in Uttar Pradesh, state Health Minister Brajesh Pathak said on Monday. The person's samples have been sent for genome sequencing.
Karnataka, meanwhile, ordered all theatres and educational institutions to make masks mandatory. It also made it mandatory for those entering bars, restaurants and pubs to be fully vaccinated. This has been done in view of the celebrations on December 31 and January 1.
Children, pregnant women and senior citizens have been advised to avoid such places.
"In the wake of the spurt in COVID cases in China and other countries and the health crisis there, we have been advised by the health experts to monitor international passengers. So they will be monitored at two dedicated hospitals - Bowring and Wenlock at Bengaluru and Mangaluru respectively, where there are international airports in the state," Revenue Minister R Ashoka said.
Wearing masks will be mandatory in all schools and colleges, and staff will be asked to ensure that students sanitise their hands before entering classes.
The Tamil Nadu government said the coronavirus rules were never relaxed in the state.
Meanwhile, the Delhi government has approved an additional budget of Rs 104 crore for hospital supplies. They have also asked all heads of government hospitals to furnish details of beds, ventilators, ICUs, oxygen plants etc.
China has been reeling under coronavirus cases. However, a similar trend isn't observed in India yet. Experts attribute the sudden explosion of cases to the
China's zero-Covid policy that prevented people from developing natural immunity.