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Omicron Is Dominant Covid Variant In India, Says Health Minister

Omicron Cases in India: “The current surge of COVID-19 cases in the country is showing a sustained declining trend since January 21, 2022,” said Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya

Omicron Is Dominant Covid Variant In India, Says Health Minister
The Union Health Ministry continues to provide support to enhance Covid preparedness, said the minister

New Delhi: Omicron variant is the dominant variant in the country presently and the current surge of COVID-19 cases in the country is showing a sustained declining trend since January 21, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya informed the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday (February 8). With the reporting of Omicron, a highly mutated variant of SARSCoV-2 virus and its classification as a Variant of Concern (VoC) by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Union Ministry of Health revised its ‘Guidelines for international arrivals’, Mandaviya said in a written reply.

Omicron variant is the dominant variant in the country presently. The current surge of COVID-19 cases in the country is showing a sustained declining trend since January 21, 2022, he said.

Following a risk based approach, provisions for mandatory pre-departure and post arrival RT-PCR testing on day 8th of arrival and a mandatory home quarantine for 7 days have been made in the present guidelines for all international travellers to India.

Also Read: Omicron – Should It Be Treated As Common Cold? Top Doctors Say We Should Not Make That Mistake

The Ministry of Health continues to provide technical guidance for managing various aspects of COVID-19 including containment and surveillance, testing, clinical management protocols, post-COVID sequale, etc., the minister said.

The clinical management protocols have also been disseminated under the Ministry of Health’s Center of Excellence initiative for all states in collaboration with AIIMS, Delhi and Indian Medical Association. Besides regular review meetings at the level of Union Health Minister with all relevant stakeholders including subject experts, review meetings with states and UTs through video conferencing have been conducted regularly to review preparedness and response measures to address COVID-19 pandemic, he said.

States and UTs have been advised to undertake several activities which include strict monitoring of International travellers in the community, contact tracing of positive individuals and follow up for 14 days, genome sequencing of positive samples through INSACOG Labs in a prompt manner, continued monitoring of areas where cluster of positive cases emerge and further strengthening of COVID-19 testing infrastructure.

They have been advised to ensure preparedness of health infrastructure (availability of ICU, oxygen supported beds, ventilators, etc.,) and upgrading health infrastructure under ECRP-II including in rural areas and for pediatric cases, commissioning all PSA plants, ensuring COVID-19 vaccination for the eligible population and ensuring adherence to COVID Appropriate Behaviour.

The Union Health Ministry continues to provide support to states and UTs to enhance preparedness and response capacities against COVID-19 and other public health emergencies. Funding support is also provided to states and UTs through National Health Mission, State Disaster Response Funds (SDRF) and Emergency COVID-19 Response and Preparedness packages.

Under ECRP Phase II, a package of ₹ 23,123 crore (with ₹ 15,000 Cr as Central Component) has been approved. Of this, as on 31st January 2022, funds to the tune of ₹ 7245.95 crore have been released to states and UTs as part of central component to strengthen health infrastructure to manage any surge in cases, Mr Mandaviya stated.

Also Read: No ICU Admissions Or Severe Cases Despite High Cases Of COVID-19, Says Dr Devi Shetty Amid The Third Wave

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via 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 populationindigenous 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 (WaterSanitation 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,  that 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 pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual 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.

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