China is facing an extraordinary wave of COVID cases as hospitals were seen being overwhelmed by patients. Harrowing scenes were reported inside a number of Beijing hospitals, as the city’s healthcare system groaned under the weight of the outbreak, with most of the victim’s elderly people. This has caused a major concern for experts around the world.
An Omicron sub-variant BF.7 is reportedly linked to this surge. BF.7, which is a nomenclature assigned to BA.126.96.36.199, has already been detected by the INSACOG network in India, according to those in the know of the matter.
In India, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya held a high-level meeting with experts and top officials on Wednesday to review strategy to prevent another spike in the country.
The Centre has asked the states to ramp up the whole genome sequencing of positive cases to track the new variants. In view of the sudden spurt of cases being witnessed in Japan, the United States of America, the Republic of Korea, Brazil, and China, it is essential to gear up the whole genome sequencing of positive case samples to track the variants.
Dr. V. K. Paul, member, of NITI Aayog, and head of the national task force on Covid, asked people not to panic because adequate tests are being conducted. He advised people to wear masks in crowded areas, start reusing hand sanitizers and avoid crowds.
Though there is no change in guidelines for international air travel yet, Congress MP Manish Tewari today demanded that the Centre must immediately stop all international flights from China.
Other than increased surveillance, there has been no change in protocol for international arrivals as of now. The protocol revised last month does away with the need for either a negative RT-PCR or a complete vaccination certificate. It said inbound passengers should “preferably be fully vaccinated as per the approved primary schedule of vaccination against Covid-19 in their country.”