New Delhi: Amid a sudden spike in COVID-19 cases in several countries including – the United States, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Brazil, and France – India is bracing itself to contain the potential outbreak of Omicron sub-variant BF.7. On Thursday (December 22), the country’s top doctors’ body, Indian Medical Association (IMA), issued an advisory on the impending COVID outbreak. IMA sent out an alert and appeal to the public “to follow COVID appropriate behaviour with immediate effect”.
In the advisory, IMA noted that the situation is not alarming and therefore, there is no need to panic. It said,
As per the available reports, nearly 5.37 lakhs new cases have been reported in the last 24 hours from major countries like the USA, Japan, South Korea, France and Brazil. India has reported 145 new cases in the last 24 hours out of which four cases are the new China variant – BF.7.
However, prevention is always better than cure hence necessary steps need to be taken to control the plausible outbreak.
8 key precautions advised by IMA:
- Use face masks in all public places
- Maintain social distancing
- Regularly wash your hands with soap and water or use sanitisers
- Avoid public gatherings like marriages, political or social meetings, etc.
- Avoid International travel
- Consult the doctor in case of any symptoms like fever, sore throat, cough, loose motions etc.
- Get your COVID vaccination including the precautionary dose at the earliest
- Follow the government advisory issued from time to time
IMA also appealed to all its members to work proactively as done in the past to combat the outbreak.
On Wednesday (December 21), the Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Mansukh Mandaviya, chaired a high-level meeting with senior officials and experts to review the COVID-19 situation in India. In a social media post, he wrote, “COVID is not over yet. I have directed all concerned to be alert and strengthen surveillance. We are prepared to manage any situation.”
In view of the rising cases of #Covid19 in some countries, reviewed the situation with experts and officials today.
COVID is not over yet. I have directed all concerned to be alert and strengthen surveillance.
We are prepared to manage any situation. pic.twitter.com/DNEj2PmE2W
— Dr Mansukh Mandaviya (@mansukhmandviya) December 21, 2022
Dr VK Paul, a member of NITI Aayog who heads the national task force on COVID, has said there is no need to panic, and that adequate tests are being conducted. He advised people to wear masks in crowded areas. Mr Paul said there is no change in the guidelines for international air travel as of now. He added,
We appeal to people to take the precautionary dose as it helps in building the nation’s shield.
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.