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COVID-19 LIVE Updates: Health Secretary Writes To States Regarding Mock Drills On Dec 27

India reported four COVID-19 cases of the BF.7 Omicron sub-variant in the past six months -- a new variant that has currently caused a rapid surge in China, as per official sources. The Central government has taken cognisance of the current situation in India and gearing up with preparedness after a sudden surge was witnessed in countries like the United States, China, Brazil, and South Korea.



22:46 IST, December 24th 2022
No COVID-19 case or death reported in Chhattisgarh; active tally now seven

No COVID-19 case or death was reported from Chhattisgarh on Saturday, the twentieth time the state had a clean slate amid the pandemic this year, an official said.

There was no addition to the tally and toll similarly on April 10, 14, 16, 17, May 15, November 13, 23, December 3, 4, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20, he pointed out. 

The tally and toll stood at 11,77,748 and 14,146, respectively, while the recovery count was 11,63,595, he said.

The active caseload in Chhattisgarh was seven, the official said.

21:40 IST, December 24th 2022
MoHFW directs States, UTs to ensure regular supply of medical oxygen for Covid-19 management

Union Health Ministry on Saturday wrote to all the states and Union territories and directed them to ensure a functional and regular supply of medical oxygen for Covid-19 pandemic management.

In its letter, the Ministry emphasised the importance of medical oxygen and vital resource in all clinical settings, particularly during the pandemic. A reliable oxygen supply is critical for saving lives during patient care and COVID-19 management, it said.

"During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government of India has supported States/UTs by installing and commissioning PSA Plants, Oxygen Concentrators, Oxygen Cylinders, and other oxygen-related infrastructure to ensure the availability of medical oxygen in a cost-effective and reliable manner in public health facilities across the Country. The Support for ventilators was also extended by GoI to ensure better patient management," the letter from the Health Ministry read mentioning that it holds weekly review meetings with all the States and UTs to ensure that all the medical oxygen facilities and equipment are set up and function properly.

21:26 IST, December 24th 2022
Odisha govt requests Centre for re-commencing COVID-19 precaution dose

In view of a global upsurge in cases of Corona, Odisha State Health Secretary Shalini Pandit on Friday wrote to the Central government asking for the re-commencing of COVID-19 precaution dose vaccination of the citizens who are "left out" and are 18 years or above in the state.

In her letter written to the Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, Pandit said, "To date, 8.14 Crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the State. Of this, 3.52 Crore (97%) doses have been administered as the first dose and 3.30 Crore (91%) doses as the second dose to beneficiaries aged 12 years and above and 1.31 Crore (41%) doses administered as precautionary doses to citizens aged 18 years and above in the State."

20:24 IST, December 24th 2022
Maharashtra records 38 new COVID-19 cases, zero fatality; active tally at 136

At least 38 new cases of coronavirus were detected in Maharashtra on Saturday, raising the tally of infections in the state to 81,36,479, an official from the state health department said. 

The toll remained unchanged at 1,48,414, while the count of recoveries reached 79,87,928 after 35 patients recovered from the infection in the last 24 hours, the official said. 

With 9,880 swab samples tested in the last 24 hours, the total number of tests conducted across the state so far rose to 8,58,42,380, he said.

As per the official report, Mumbai circle recorded the highest number of cases at 18, followed by Pune with eight, Akola with six, Nashik with three, Nagpur with two and Aurangabad one.

19:45 IST, December 24th 2022
UP CM Yogi to provide Rs 5.30 cr aid for kin of journalists who died due to Covid-19

Extending financial support to the families of journalists who lost their lives during the Covid-19-impacted period on the occasion of 'Good Governance Day', Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will provide aid of Rs 5.30 crores, stated an official statement. 

The state government will provide financial aid to the families of about 53 deceased journalists.

It is noteworthy that earlier in the month of July, the Uttar Pradesh government had provided about Rs 10 lakh each as aid for the kin of about 50 journalists who passed away due to coronavirus.

19:05 IST, December 24th 2022
Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan writes to states regarding mock drill to test emergency preparedness for COVID-19

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan writes to secretaries (Health) of States and UTs regarding conducting mock drills at all health facilities (including identified COVID-dedicated health facilities) across the country on December 27.


18:25 IST, December 24th 2022
Congress flouting Covid protocols, says Union Minister Anurag Thakur as Bharat Jodo Yatra reaches Delhi

Union Minister Anurag Thakur on Saturday hit out at the Congress over its Bharat Jodo Yatra, accusing the party of abdicating its responsibility by flouting Covid protocols when the pandemic was rearing its head once again.

Thakur also sought to know whether Rahul Gandhi, who is leading the Bharat Jodo Yatra, had undergone his Covid test as Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, who had walked alongside him last week, was infected with coronavirus.

"Covid cases are rising in China and Japan. There are long queues outside hospitals, dead bodies are piling up. But you are not bothered about the interests of the country. You are bothered about only one family. Congress has displayed this attitude time and again," the senior BJP leader said.

18:03 IST, December 24th 2022
'BJP is in fear due to Bharat Jodo Yatra & is taking excuse of Covid,' says Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge


17:20 IST, December 24th 2022
Tamil Nadu steps up vigil, screens 37 international passengers for COVID-19

The Tamil Nadu government stepped up vigil amidst a sudden surge in Coronavirus cases in some parts of the world and on Saturday 37 passengers who arrived at the international airport here were screened for COVID-19.

None among those screened had symptoms for Coronavirus, said State Health Minister Ma Subramanian.

The passengers had arrived from Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Colombo and Dhaka and 2 per cent of them were screened for the pandemic as per the guidelines issued by the Central government.

17:09 IST, December 24th 2022
MP: Passengers arriving at Khajuraho airport to be screened for coronavirus

Passengers arriving at Khajuraho Airport in Madhya Pradesh will be screened for coronavirus if they show symptoms of the infection, an official said on Saturday.  

Khajuraho in Chhatarpur district is one of the biggest tourist attractions in central India.

As per directives of the authorities, a team will be posted at Khajuraho Airport for screening passengers and RT-PCR tests will be conducted in suspected cases, Chhatarpur's chief medical and health officer (CMHO) Dr Lakhan Tiwari said.

16:03 IST, December 24th 2022
COVID-19 is out of Maharashtra: State Health Minister Tanaji Sawant

Maharashtra Health Minister Tanaji Sawant on Saturday said that COVID-19 is out of the state. "There are only 132 Covid patients in the state. There is nothing to fear," he added.

15:41 IST, December 24th 2022
We're working on alert mode: Health Min Dr Mandaviya amid global COVID-19 alarm

"We are working on alert mode to control the spread of Covid- 19. Conducting Sewage and human surveillance. Virus RNA was found in sewage samples in Delhi and Mumbai. Urge people to wear masks, avoid crowded places and follow Covid appropriate behaviour," Union Health Min Dr Mandaviya said.

14:59 IST, December 24th 2022
Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai says 'no need to panic, but follow safety norms'

Speaking to reporters in Hubballi, Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai said, “We will continuously monitor the situation, but there is no need to panic. Only thing is that people should be cautious. The government, people, organisations and society have to face COVID together... I have instructed Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar and health department officials to enhance the health infrastructure. It’s not just about hospitals but also stocking drugs and vaccines. There should not be any shortage at any level."

14:27 IST, December 24th 2022
'Avoid crowding, wear masks': Director of Tata Institute for Genetics and Society on COVID-19 situation

Amid the surge in Covid-19 cases in several countries across the world, the Director of Tata Institute for Genetics and Society Dr Rakesh Mishra said, "There is nothing for India to be worried about at this stage. China is in a situation where many of its people will get infected & do not have vaccine protection. Those who are not vaccinated should get vaccinated immediately. We should avoid crowding and wear a face mask. If we do these things, we will be safe. The government needs to continue to conduct testing."


14:21 IST, December 24th 2022
International arrivals are being tested for Covid-19 at Delhi International Airport


International arrivals from China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Japan and South Korea are being tested for Covid-19 at the Delhi International airport from today. 


14:16 IST, December 24th 2022
Tamil Nadu Health Minister inspects COVID-19 testing booths outside Chennai Airport

Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma. Subramanian inspected the COVID-19 testing booth established outside the Chennai International airport. 


12:20 IST, December 24th 2022
Former Health Minister speaks to Republic, says 'need to revive the habit of using masks'

Speaking to Republic, Former Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said, "We need to follow COVID protocols and revive the habit of using masks. We have already activated all our labs; genome sequencing of all positive samples is to be done."


12:09 IST, December 24th 2022
RTPCR test mandatory for international passengers coming from countries with high number of cases: Health Min

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said, "RTPCR mandatory for international passengers arriving from China, Japan, S Korea, Hong Kong & Thailand amid the global surge in COVID cases."


11:06 IST, December 24th 2022
'Wear masks, maintain social distancing': Mumbai civic body urges people amid COVID fears

Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in several countries across the world, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Friday urged citizens to follow "COVID-appropriate behaviour, including wearing masks in public, maintaining physical distance from others, washing hands frequently with soap and water, and staying home when feeling sick".

09:54 IST, December 24th 2022
India records 201 new COVID-19 infections; active cases rise to 3,397

India reported 201 new coronavirus infections, raising the tally to 4.46 crore, while the active cases increased to 3,397, the Union Health Ministry said on Saturday. An increase of 17 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 case count in a span of 24 hours, the ministry said.

08:41 IST, December 24th 2022
'Fake & misleading': Health Ministry on report claiming Covid-19 negative test made mandatory for passengers

Union Health Ministry fact-checked a report claiming that the government is planning to make COVID-19 negative test report mandatory for passengers arriving from countries with a high number of cases. The Ministry called the report "fake and misleading".


07:26 IST, December 24th 2022
Congress politicises COVID alert, says 'BJP trying to defame Bharat Jodo Yatra'

Congress leader and MP Jairam Ramesh said, "Will wear the mask. PM wore a mask to Parliament yesterday but later there was no mask on his face. We will follow all protocols issued by govt on the basis of medical evidence. BJP is doing politics on COVID and trying to defame Bharat Jodo Yatra."


06:52 IST, December 24th 2022
No need to panic, situation under control: J&K administration on Covid-19

On Friday, the Jammu and Kashmir administration said that there is no need to panic in view of rising COVID-19 cases in neighbouring countries as no surge has been reported in J&K and also maintained that it is fully geared up to tackle the situation in the Union Territory.

06:44 IST, December 24th 2022
Odisha govt advises citizens to use masks

The Odisha government on Friday issued a fresh advisory to citizens to follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour, like wearing masks during Christmas and New Year. The state administration asked people to avoid crowded places and use masks, maintain social distancing, and go for tests if found symptoms.

23:01 IST, December 23rd 2022
BF.7 scare: Focus is on rigorously implementing vaccination drive in Mumbai, says BMC

The Mumbai civic body on Friday said it would focus on rigorously implementing the vaccination drive amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in some countries, believed to be fuelled by the BF.7 sub-variant of Omicron.

A release from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation also appealed to citizens to strictly adhere to COVID-19 norms and appropriate behaviour in order to keep coronavirus at bay.

The BMC said the steps it was taking were based on guidelines issued by the Union government on December 20 and 22 after a surge in cases in China, Japan, and the United States of America.

22:15 IST, December 23rd 2022
Chhattisgarh sees three COVID-19 cases, active tally now seven

Chhattisgarh on Friday reported three COVID-19 cases at a positivity rate of 0.23 per cent, taking the tally to 11,77,748, a health official said.

The death toll and recovery count stood unchanged at 14,146 and 11,63,595, respectively, he added.

21:11 IST, December 23rd 2022
COVID-19: Thermal screening begins for passengers arriving at Pune airport

In light of the sudden rise in COVID-19 cases in some parts of the world and the Centre's guidelines, the civic authorities have started thermal screening of 2 per cent of passengers arriving at the Pune International Airport, an official said on Friday.

At least 600 beds have been readied at civic hospitals in case any patient needs to be kept in isolation, said Dr Ashish Bharti, health officer of the Pune Municipal Corporation said.

"Apart from Naidu Hospital, preparations have been made at two more hospitals. There are three to four dedicated COVID-19 hospitals that can be readied in two to three days," he said, adding that the civic body has also stocked the necessary medicines.

20:31 IST, December 23rd 2022
Maharashtra sees 23 new COVID-19 cases, zero fatality; active tally at 134

Maharashtra on Friday recorded 23 new cases of coronavirus that raised the tally of infections to 81,36,441, an official from the state health department said.

The toll remained unchanged at 1,48,414, as no fresh fatalities were reported in the last 24 hours, while the count of recoveries reached 79,87,893 after 23 people recovered from the infection, the official said.

The state had reported 20 new COVID-19 cases and two fresh fatalities on Thursday.

With 8,370 swab samples tested in the last 24 hours, the total number of tests conducted across the state rose to 8,58,42,380, he said.


19:52 IST, December 23rd 2022
Punjab CM holds Covid review meeting, urges people to wear masks in public places

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann held a COVID-19 review meeting here on Friday and urged people to wear masks in public places, in view of the rising number of cases of the viral infection in some countries.

He said the state government was fully prepared to tackle any unforeseen challenges. Deputy commissioners have been directed to constantly review the arrangements in their respective districts, while the government will set up a state-level Covid control room, Mann added.

19:23 IST, December 23rd 2022
MP: Nearly 83 pc people in Indore not inoculated with precautionary dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Nearly 83 per cent of eligible population in Madhya Pradesh's Indore district has not taken the precautionary dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, an official said on Friday.

The stock of Covidshield vaccine has also gotten over in Indore, which was one of the worst affected districts in the state amid the pandemic, the official said.  

At least 30 lakh people have taken the first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, but only five lakh have taken the precautionary booster dose, district vaccination officer Dr Tarun Gupta said.

This indicates that there are still 25 lakh people who have not taken the precautionary jab of the vaccine, he said.