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Omicron new variant in India: What are high-risk states up to

Omicron new variant in India: What are high-risk states up to
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By CNBCTV18.com Jan 17, 2023 11:49:05 AM IST (Updated)

COVID-19 in India: While the Maharashtra government said it will form a committee to monitor the COVID situation in the state, Gujarat has reportedly asked officials to conduct "compulsory" testing of travellers arriving in the state from other countries.

Several states in India have ramped up testing, formed committees and held meetings to review the COVID-19 situation even as the Centre is "proactively" carrying out risk assessment in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases in other countries. In his speech in the Lok Sabha in December 2022, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that in the wake of the festive and new year season, states have been advised to make sure people wear masks, use sanitisers and maintain social distancing.

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"States are advised to increase genome-sequencing to timely identify the new variant of COVID-19...They have also been directed to increasing awareness for precautionary doses," mandaviya said.
What are high-risk states up to? Check out here:
The Maharashtra health department has asked all the district administrations and municipal corporations to increase COVID-19 tests. All the districts have been directed to follow a five-point programme -- test, track, treat, vaccinate and (ensure) COVID-19 appropriate behaviour.
On Wednesday, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the state government will form a committee/ task force in coordination with the Centre to monitor the COVID situation in the state.
The Kerala government issued orders on January 16, making masks mandatory for people in all public places, in vehicles and while travelling across the state. It said the order shall remain in force for 30 days with effect from January 12, 2023. Read details about other restrictions in the state here
The Kerala government sounded an alert of a possible spread of the virus and directed the district authorities to gear up the whole genome sequencing of positive case samples for tracking the new variants. People in the state were urged to wear face masks to cover their mouth and nose.
"Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. All unvaccinated individuals should be vaccinated and those who have not taken the backup dose should do that. Thorough medical examination of people with symptoms should be done and genome sequencing will be strengthened to monitor new variants," the minister's office said in a statement.
The officials were directed to increase the facilities in the hospitals for treating COVID patients. They were asked to strengthen awareness activities and monitor hospital admissions regularly.
The Delhi government is keeping a watch on the COVID-19 situation and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has directed the health department to ensure genome sequencing of samples and take other steps needed to meet any eventuality, officials said. The chief minister also called an emergency meeting to review the COVID-19 situation in the city on Thursday.
West Bengal
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee advised health officials to form a committee of experts to keep an eye on the emerging situation. "Set up a team of experts to monitor the situation. The health secretary will be leading the team. Genome sequencing should continue," she said.
The Uttarakhand government is preparing to issue a fresh set of standard operating procedures on COVID-19 based on the Centre's guidelines following a sudden spurt in cases in some countries, Health Minister Dhan Singh Rawat said earlier.
The Karnataka government decided to make face masks mandatory in closed spaces and airconditioned rooms. It also decided to conduct mandatory testing of Influenza Like Illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) in the state, Karnataka Health Minister Sudhakar said.
Sudhakar urged people to take all three jabs of COVID vaccine and use face masks at crowded places. Dedicated COVID wards in all district hospitals with sufficient beds and supply of Oxygen will also be opened in the state, he said.
Gujarat Health Minister Rushikesh Patel on Wednesday asked officials to conduct "compulsory" testing of travellers arriving in the state from other countries. Patel reviewed the availability of beds, ventilators, medicines, and oxygen supply in health centres and civil hospitals across the state during a meeting.
A senior official of the health department said directions have been issued to increase daily COVID-19 testings from around 3,000 at present to 10,000. He said instructions have also been issued to all civil surgeons in the state to ensure that the samples of all positive cases should be sent for genome sequencing at a facility in Patiala.
Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath Thursday said people suffering from serious, incurable diseases, and the elderly will have to take special precautions.
He directed officials to monitor the new COVID-19 variant, ramp up testing and conduct genome sequencing of fresh cases. He also asked them to make people aware of wearing masks in crowded public places such as hospitals, buses, railway stations and markets.
Adityanath ordered officials to create new posts of specialist doctors by examining the updated requirements of medical institutions and ensuring availability of life-saving medicines in the state.
He Officials were also directed to reactivate the Integrated COVID Command and Control Room (ICCC) and also activate the public address system. "The changing trend of COVID should be closely monitored. The Medical Education and Health Department should prepare with better coordination," he said, asking officials to maintain constant communication with the Union Health Ministry.
Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij said the state has RT-PCR testing facilities and adequate stocks of medicine in all districts, along with a sufficient supply of oxygen in plants. Ventilators are also available in sufficient numbers. He advised people to follow all guidelines. Moreover,  Haryana's Health Department issued guidelines directing all Civil Surgeons in the state to ensure compliance of various measures across all health facilities.
(With inputs from agencies)
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