“Mask Up, Avoid Foreign Travel”, Warns Top Indian Doctors’ Group

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Nearly 5.37 lakhs new cases have been reported in last 24 hours from major countries, it said.

New Delhi:

The country’s top doctors’ body, Indian Medical Association, today appealed to the public to follow Covid appropriate behaviour with immediate effect. In an advisory, it listed necessary steps to overcome “the impending Covid outbreak, including wearing face masks in all public places, maintaining social distancing, regular handwashing with soap and water or sanitizers. Soon after, union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said in the parliament that the government is keeping an eye on rising Covid cases in the country, and listed measures to contain the spread of the virus. He said all states have been asked to do genome sequencing, and random sampling of international flyers has also started from today.

The IMA has advised avoiding public gatherings like marriages, political or social meetings, and international travel. It further appealed to the people to consult doctors in case of any symptoms like fever, sore throat, cough, loose motions etc, and getting Covid vaccination including precautionary dose at the earliest.

“In view of the sudden surge of COViD cases in different countries, Indian Medical Association alerts and appeals the public to follow COVID appropriate behaviour with immediate effect. As per the available reports, nearly 5.37 lakhs new cases have been reported in last 24 hours from major countries like the USA, Japan, South Korea, France, and Brazil. India has reported 145 new cases in last 24 hours, out of which four cases are the new China variant – BF.7,” it said.

It appealed to the government to upscale the preparedness “for any such situation as seen in 2021” by issuing necessary instructions to the concerned Ministries and Departments to make available the emergency medicines, oxygen supply, and ambulance services.

“As of now, the situation is not alarming and therefore there is no need to panic. Prevention is better than cure,” it added.

Sources say the Centre might also issue an advisory to all states after today’s high-level Covid review meeting, to be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. States may be asked not to allow overcrowding while celebrating New Year.

The advisory is likely to stress on face masks, social distancing, and increased screening for the virus.

Those coming from China, who have stayed there for at least seven days, may be asked for compulsory testing. One percent random testing of passengers will also likely be advised. Sources said the preparation to bring back the infrastructure required for quarantine and testing will be done in the next seven days.

Amid demand by Opposition parties to immediately stop all international flights from China, government sources told news agency ANI that there is no order issued by the central government to curb incoming flights from the country, where a wave of Covid cases has been reported.

‘We don’t have any direct flights from China to India or from India to China but as of now, there is no such order issued to stop connecting flights to India which are arriving via China. The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) is an executing ministry, the final decision will come from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW),” government sources told ANI.

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