Bengaluru: Karnataka health minister K Sudhakar briefed the Union health ministry on the state’s preparedness to combat like surge in Covid cases. In this regard, on the direction of the union health ministry, health care facilities nationwide would conduct mock drills.
“As per the Union mealth ministry’s direction, mock drills will be conducted at all government hospitals to ensure that all infrastructure we had installed during earlier waves of COVID-19 including oxygen plants and oxygen generators are ready to use,” said the state health minister.
Speaking to media after participating in the video conference of the health ministers of all the states conducted by Union health minister Mansukh Mandviya on December 23, Sudhakar stated that 5 lakh to 6 lakh new COVID-19 cases are being detected in the world every day. He said that 80% of the new cases are appearing in 10 countries including China, Japan, Taiwan, America, Europe and New Zealand.
“All the states were informed in the meeting about how COVID-19 is on the rise in different countries of the world from last three months. At present the number of active cases in India is 0.03%. A major reason for this is that the entire population of our country has received two-doses of the vaccine. Additionally, Indians also have better natural immunity. Due to this, we are in a better position to fight the spread of COVID-19,” he said.
COVID-19, which started two years ago, is still not completely eliminated. Hence, people are requested to be more vigilant and get their booster doses as soon as possible, Sudhakar said.
“According to the ‘R’ value of the new coronavirus variant strain BF-07, it is capable of spreading from one person to 17-18 people. So it is highly contagious. Union health ministry has also suggested to step up testing and surveillance measures. There is a stock of 8 to 10 lakh vaccines in the state and people are advised to take them voluntarily,” he said.
Commenting further on the state’s preparedness, Sudhakar said that the samples of Covid positive cases will be sent to INSACOG for genomic sequencing to track new variants. “Booster dose will be given to senior citizens on priority. 2% of international passengers are being randomly tested at airports. We have suggested that the process of international passengers uploading negative RTPCR certificates not older than 72 hours from the date of travel through Air Suvidha should be restarted. People should take all precautionary measures including wearing masks.”
The minister said that it is better to postpone organizing public celebrations where a lot of people gather, including New Year, for a few days.