Focus On Oxygen, Mandatory Test For China Arrivals: India’s Covid Steps

Coronavirus: Centre asked states to keep enough medical oxygen in stock

New Delhi:

The Health Ministry has given a fresh six-point advisory to the states to face any Covid emergency amid rising cases in neighbouring China. India has reported a handful of the BF.7 strain that’s running amok in China.

All travellers coming from China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Thailand will have to show a negative Covid certificate, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said today.

Passengers from those countries would be put under quarantine if they showed symptoms or test positive, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said.

Oxygen shortage was initially a big problem during the initial days of the second wave in India in mid-2021.

“Though Covid cases in the country are low and not surging as of now, but to face any challenges arising in future, the operationalisation and maintenance of these medical infrastructure is utmost importance,” the Health Ministry’s Additional Secretary Manohar Agnani said in the letter to the states.

The government’s latest advisory on medical oxygen management says PSA plants are to be kept fully functional and regular mock drills should be done to check them.

PSA, short for pressure swing adsorption, is the process by which ambient air passes through an internal filtration system to separate nitrogen from the air, concentrating the remaining oxygen to a known purity.

The availability of liquid medical oxygen, or LMO, in health facilities and uninterrupted supply chain for their refilling should be ensured, the government said in the letter.

Adequate inventory of oxygen cylinders along with backup stocks and robust refilling system should be maintained, it said.

India has so far stepped up genome sequencing of Covid cases in view of the sudden spurt in cases in China and elsewhere.

Cases are soaring across China, with crematoriums and hospitals struggling to cope in the wake of the government’s sudden decision to lift years of lockdowns, quarantines and mass testing.

The United States has warned the outbreak is now of concern to the rest of the world, given the potential for further virus mutations and the size of China.

India, which suffered badly at the height of the pandemic, has not so far reported any significant rise in cases.

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