New Covid guidelines: Ensure oxygen supply


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Union Health Minister Man-sukh Mandaviya on Saturday said RT-PCR test for the detection of COVID-19 would be made mandatory for passengers from China, Japan, South Korea, Singa-pore and Thailand for their travel to India.
Any passenger from these countries found symptomatic or testing positive for coronavirus would be quarantined, he said.
"Passengers from China, Japan, Singapore and Bangkok (Thailand) are being monitored through the 'Air Suvidha' portal," Mandaviya told reporters.
In view of the pandemic situation, passengers of flights from China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Bangkok are required to upload their RT-PCR report in advance.
Even after landing in India, they will undergo thermal screening, he said.
"We have issued an order for them to be quarantined in the country if found positive or with fever," the minister said.
With China and other countries witnessing a surge in Covid cases, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Thursday cautioned against complacency, called for a strict vigil and directed that the ongoing surveillance measures, specially at international airports, be strengthened.
The Union Health Ministry has already asked the Civil Aviation Ministry to ensure random post-arrival Covid testing at airports of 2 per cent of the passengers arriving in India on each international flight from Saturday to minimise the risk of ingress of any new variant of the coronavirus in the country.
The Centre also advised the States and Union Territories to ensure availability of Liquid Medical Oxygen, cylinders and other equipment like ventilators at hospitals amid the surge in Covid-19 cases in China.
The Centre's latest advisory on medical oxygen management says Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) oxygen-generating plants must be kept fully functional and regular mock drills should be conducted to check them.
In a letter to all States and Union Territories, Health Ministry Additional Secretary Manohar Agnani said the operationalisation and maintenance of these medical infrastructures are of utmost importance to meet any emergency even though the number of cases in the country is low now.
Oxygen shortage was initially a big problem during the initial days of the second wave in India in mid-2021.
On the other hand, the Government of Manipur is planning to conduct a drill involving all Covid related infrastructure before December 27. PTI