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RT-PCR testing begun, people should wear masks, use sanitisers: Health Minister in Parliament

COVID was back at the centre of India’s health and political map with the government advising people to get vaccinated and mask up, and saying random sample testing will be conducted at airports for passengers arriving from China and other countries. 

Random RT-PCR testing to urging people to wear masks Key points made by Health Minister in Parliament amid China scare gcw
First Published Dec 22, 2022, 2:58 PM IST

As China is witnessing another wave of COVID due to the new variant BF.7 Omicron sub-variant, it has grabbed the headlines as India is preparing to combat a potential recurrence of the COVID virus in the country as it is now spreading in nations like China.

Addressing the Parliament, Union Health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said, "We have also started the random RT-PCR sampling among passengers arriving at International airports in the country. We are committed to tackling the pandemic and are taking appropriate steps." He said 2% of the travellers will have to give samples, after which they will be allowed to go, and the RT-PCR tests will thus be carried out.

Also Read | BF.7, Omicron sub-variant, detected in India; Know symptoms, precautions & other details

He further said that as the festive season is here, including New Years, states are advised to make sure people wear masks, use sanitisers and maintain social distancing along with increasing awareness for precautionary doses. States are advised to increase genome-sequencing to timely identify the new variant of COVID, he added.

Elaborating further, he said the health department has been quite proactive in managing the COVID-19 pandemic. The central government has provided financial assistance to states in fighting against the pandemic. So far, 220 crore covid vaccine shots have been given. He said the government is keeping an eye on the global COVID situation and are taking steps accordingly. He said, "From the last few days, Covid cases have been rising in the world but in India, cases are depleting. We are seeing rising Covid cases and deaths due to it in China."

The Health Ministry advised States/UTs to send samples of all COVID-19 positive cases to INSACOG Genome Sequencing Laboratories (IGSLs) on a daily basis, for sequencing, to track new variants.

Also Read | Ministry of Health says viral WhatsApp Message on Omicron XBB variant is fake; check details

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