Government asks states to set up makeshift hospitals

Mansukh Mandaviya requested people to register eligible children in their families for vaccination for children that will start from Jan 3

Update: 2022-01-02 03:11 GMT
Nurses prepare a COVID-19 vaccination ward for children in the age group of 15 to 18 years, at Thane Civil Hospital on Saturday. (PTI)

New Delhi: Amid a significant rise in Covid-19 cases across the country, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan has written to the chief secretaries of all states and UTs to take measures to deal with a possible surge in Covid cases. Meanwhile, the registration for vaccination of children in the 15-18 age group against Covid-19 began on Saturday on the COWIN portal, Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said. Posting on Twitter, he requested people to register eligible children in their families for vaccination for children that will start from January 3.

Further on Saturday, India saw a single-day rise of 22,775 new Covid-19 cases, highest since October 6, while the number of active cases surpassed one lakh and Omicron infection tally reached 1,431. India logged 161 fresh Omicron infections, taking the total tally of such cases in the country to 1,431.

In a letter issued to the states and UTs, Mr Bhushan said in the context of the spread of Omicron, the world is currently reporting the highest ever surge in Covid-19 cases.

In India, the case trajectory is also showcasing an upward trend with 16,764 cases reported on December 31, highest ever single-day rise in the past 70 days. Many developed nations in Europe and Americas are reporting a similar significant rise in new cases in the past weeks, which indicates high transmissibility of the virus," Mr Bhushan said.

Mr Bhushan has advised states and UTs to start the process of setting up makeshift hospitals and constitute special teams to monitor patients in home isolation.

He said to address a potential surge in cases, with a view to ensure preparedness, “states are advised to initiate creation of field or makeshift hospitals". This, he said, can be done with the “coordination of DRDO and CSIR as well as the private sector, corporations, NGOs, etc”.

Of the 1,431 patients infected with the Omicron variant of the virus so far, 374 have either recuperated or migrated, according to the ministry's data updated at 8 am on Saturday.

Maharashtra recorded the maximum number of 454 new Omicron cases followed by Delhi at 351, Kerala 118 and Gujarat 115.

The country also recorded 22,775 fresh Covid-19 cases and 406 more fatalities due to the viral disease in the last 24 hours.

The fresh cases raised India's tally of Covid-19 cases to 3,48,61,579, while the active cases increased to 1,04,781, according to the latest data.

The death toll from the pandemic climbed to 4,81,080 with 406 new fatalities, the data stated.

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