Next 40 Days Crucial as India May See Covid Cases Surge in mid-January: Official Sources

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NEW DELHI — The next 40 days are going to be crucial as India may see a surge in Covid-19 cases in January, official sources said on December 28 citing the pattern of previous outbreaks.

“Previously, it has been noticed that a new wave of Covid-19 hits India around 30-35 days after it hits East Asia…. This has been a trend,” an official said, according to news agency PTI.

The Health Ministry sources, however, said the severity of the infection is less. Even if there is a wave, deaths and hospitalisation will be very low, they said.

The sources said 39 international passengers were found positive for Covid-19 out of the 6,000 tested on arrival in the last two days.

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya to visit the airport in Delhi to take stock of testing and screening facilities there, they said.

The government has made random coronavirus testing mandatory for 2% of passengers arriving in each international flight from Saturday.

The sources said filling up of ‘air suvidha’ forms and 72-hour prior RT-PCR testing may be made mandatory from next week for international passengers coming from China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore.

Amid a spike in Covid-19 cases in some countries, including China and South Korea, the government has sounded an alert and asked States and Union Territories to prepare for any eventuality.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Health Minister Mandaviya have held meetings to assess the country’s preparedness to deal with a fresh surge in cases.

Mock drills were held at health facilities across India on Tuesday to check operational readiness to deal with any spurt in COVID-19 infection, with Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya saying the country has to remain alert and prepared as cases are rising in the world.

The latest spike in cases is being driven by Omicron sub-variant BF.7.

The official sources said the transmissibility of this BF.7 sub-variant is very high. A person infected with the sub-variant can further infect 16 persons. 

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