Monday, Jun 27, 2022

Omicron Surge In India: Government Cautions States To Take Action | 5 Points

As the Omicron variant of the coronavirus spreads faster than its predecessor delta, the government is on its toes. In a recent Covid-19 advisory by the health ministry, states were asked to prepare themselves with a list of measures provided. Is the third wave coming?

Omicron Surge In India: Government Cautions States To Take Action | 5 Points
Representational Image PTI

As the Omicron infections in India near the 200 mark, the Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan has issued a letter to the states to take into account the sudden rise in the Covid-19 cases, especially with the detection of the Variant of Concern (VoC). The letter has listed out a list of measures which the states should follow in light of the current coronavirus situation in the country. As Omicron and its fast spread is being projected responsible for an upcoming third wave, the government es expected to be prepared with a better understanding of the pandemic, also with its learnings from the second wave.

The letter says that based on the current data, the Variant of Concern Omicron is at least 3 times more transmissible than the Delta variant. It also highlights that the dangers of Delta variant have not found their way out as the variant is still present in different parts of the country. Therefore, that is a cumulative risk in front of the states. 

The letter highlighted the need to activate war rooms in all the jurisdictions irrespective of how small the danger might seem. Based on the understanding of the ministry from the past, the letter chalked out some strategic areas of intervention which the people might observe around in the upcoming days - 

1. Containment - This involves the imposition of night curfews, stricter regulations for large gatherings such as religious events, schools, colleges, offices, public transport, etc. 

In case either the test positivity in a district reaches 10% for a week or the bed occupancy in hospitals on Oxygen supported beds reaches at least 40%, the district level containment measures and restrictions will be put in place forthwith.

2. Testing and surveillance - Door to door case search, testing of vulnerable people, ensuring right proportion of RT-PCR tests being conducted daily and the contact tracing of Covid-19 positive patients will be done. This also involves monitoring of international passengers using the Air Suvidha portal.

3. Clinical management  - Bed capacity, oxygen availability and other hospital logistics will be increased. The Emergency Covid Response Package (ECRP-II) released by the central government will be used additionally to arrange the resources. 

Stringent enforcement of home quarantine/isolation will be done by the authorities. 

4. Vaccination - Efforts will be made to ensure 100% coverage of the left out first and second dose eligible beneficiaries in an accelerated manner because vaccines are the most effective solution to the virus. With more strengthened door-to-door vaccination proposed, special focus will be given to districts with vaccination less than the national average.

Also Read: No Evidence To Suggest That Existing Vaccines Don't Work On Omicron: Govt

5. Community engagement and Covid appropriate behaviour -  As usual, the government is preparing to do regular press briefings to sway away, the clouded misinformation around Covid-19 and expects the people to not panic. The letter says that the 'participation of community-backed strict enforcement' is necessary for Covid appropriate behaviour. 

Also Read: Omicron 'Raging' Around World: US Health Expert Dr Anthony Fauci Expresses Concern