Health Minister To Visit Airport As 31 International Fliers Test Positive

Mansukh Mandaviya said, “To ensure there is no Covid surge, PM Modi has asked us to be careful”.

New Delhi:

Thirty-nine people arriving in India from abroad have tested positive for Covid at airports across the country over the last two days, sources have told NDTV. Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya will visit Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport tomorrow to take stock of the situation.

Altogether, 6,000 people were tested randomly, under the fresh protocol following the Covid surge. The government had said random tests will be conducted on two per of people at international arrival section.

So far, 200 strains of the Covid virus have been detected in the country. Sources also said the BF 7 strain, which is one of the four variants causing havoc in China, has also been isolated. The vaccines used in the country are seen as being effective against the variant.

The surge in China has been attributed to four variants of Coronavirus. The BF.7, he said, only accounts for 15 per cent of the cases. The majority — 50 per cent — is from the BN and BQ series, and SVV variant is 10-15 per cent. The cocktail of viruses, however, behave differently due to local epidemiology.

India gains because of “hybrid immunity” — a combination of immunity acquired through vaccines and natural infection through the first, second and third wave.

In China, they have not been exposed to the virus before. “The vaccine they received is probably less effective, despite three to four doses,” Mr Arora told NDTV.

Mr Mandaviya reviewed a mock drill at Delhi’s Safdarjung hospital yesterday as part of the mandatory preparations across the country in view of a possible Covid surge. The government has directed that preparedness of beds, ventilators, oxygen, emergency drugs and healthcare professionals be checked.

“To make sure there is no  Covid surge in country, PM Modi has asked us to be careful. The government is also preparing, if at all Covid cases increase,” Mr Mandaviya had said.  

Mr Arora told NDTV yesterday that there is no case for panic. India is just going through “precautionary and pre-emptive” preparations in absence of a free flow of information from China, he had added.

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