India readies for surge in Covid infections from China

AP - Anupam Nath

As the number of Covid-19 cases in China continues to surge, India has stepped up efforts to prepare for a similar explosion of the infection rate. Measures including ramping up the genome sequencing of Covid-positive samples to identify variants.

India saw a decline in the daily number of Covid cases this week. Official figures show the total number of infections at 44.7 million and more than 530,000 deaths.

However, with infection rates surging in several Asian countries, notably China, India has taken proactive measures to be ready for any contingency.

Last week, authorities conducted mock drills across a number of health facilities in several states to ensure their readiness.

"Covid cases are rising all over the world, and India might witness a spike in cases too,” said Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya.

“Hence it is important that the entire infrastructure in terms of equipment, processes, and human resources are at a state of operational readiness.”

The government earlier this week asked India's states to remain vigilant for variants of the coronavirus and urged people to wear masks in crowded areas, citing an increase in Covid-19 cases in China and other parts of the globe.

China’s “zero covid” policy that initially saved lives has triggered a surge of cases and deaths in a population with little natural immunity and low levels of vaccination.

The virus has mutated so much that health chiefs say the population must remain vigilant.

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