Amid Covid-19 surge in China and elsewhere abroad, official sources said the next 40 days are crucial for India as there might be a Covid-19 surge in January.
PTI reported sources making this assessment after citing the pattern of previous outbreaks in India.
"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.
The Union Health Ministry sources, however, said the severity of the infection is less, adding even if there is a wave, deaths and hospitalisation will be very low, they said.
Government focusing on international arrivals
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 two per cent 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.
Take boosters, audit health infra: PM Modi
In a meeting reviewing Covid-19 situation in India, Modi last week asked people to follow Covid-19 protocols and also stressed on booster doses of coronavirus vaccines and on the audit of healthcare facilities.
Modi as well as the Union Health Ministry also stressed on the need for more genome sequencing of Covid-19 samples, so that any new emerging coronavirus variant could be identified at the earliest.
Modi in the meeting also advised the states to carry out audits of their healthcare infrastructure, including the availability of oxygen.
"Prime Minister stressed the need to ensure that the entire Covid infrastructure at all levels is maintained at a high level of preparedness in terms of equipment, processes and human resources. He advised States to audit Covid specific facilities to ensure operational readiness of Hospital Infrastructure, including Oxygen Cylinders, PSA plants, ventilators and human resources," said the PMO statement.
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.
(With PTI inputs)