India is on alert for new variables as the Covid wave sweeps through China

New Delhi

India The Minister of Health has advised the public to take precautions against Covid-19, including getting vaccinated and wearing masks, as the country remains alert to potential new variants that may emerge from the wave of infections sweeping through neighboring countries. China.

Health Minister Mansukh Mandavia on Thursday told Parliament that India will start random testing of 2% of international travelers arriving at the country’s airports, after he asked regional authorities to send positive samples to laboratories monitoring new Covid strains.

“States were asked to make people aware (of the need) to wear masks, use hand sanitizers, maintain respiratory hygiene and social distancing,” said Mandaviya, as he encouraged Indians to get booster shots or vaccines.

Speaking on Wednesday at a meeting to review the country’s Covid situation amid surging cases in several Asian countries, Mandaviya said: “Covid is not over yet. I have directed all concerned to be on alert, and to strengthen surveillance.”

India, a country of 1.3 billion people, eased its Covid restrictions earlier this year after the number of infections dropped and people mostly stopped wearing masks outside.

The Indian minister’s warnings come as China prepares infections To spread from its largest cities to its vast countryside, its impact hastily and unprepared Getting out of zero covid strategy earlier this month.

On Wednesday, the head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, expressed concern about the rise in cases in China, stressing that he was concerned about “increased reports of severe disease”.

“In order to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment of the situation on the ground, WHO needs more detailed information on disease severity, hospitalizations and ICU support requirements,” Tedros told a news conference.

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The increase could lead to nearly a million deaths in China, According to a study released last weekadding that it is also likely to overburden many local health systems in the country.

Meanwhile, Chinese experts have warned that the worst is yet to come. Wu Zunyu, chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said last week that China is experiencing the first of three expected waves of infections this winter.

Last year, India was devastated by a second wave of the Covid-19 coronavirus, which has claimed tens of thousands of lives and damaged the country’s health system.

Since then, India has administered more than two billion Covid vaccines and nearly 75% of its population have received at least one dose, according to the data from Johns Hopkins University.

According to the health ministry, India has seen a “steady decline” in cases, with an average of around 150 infections per day nationwide as of December 19.

“We are ready to manage any situation,” Mandavia Minister of Health said He said In a post on Twitter Wednesday.

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