NEW DELHI: With some countries witnessing a surge in Covid cases, the Centre on Saturday urged states and union territories to ensure the availability of Liquid Medical Oxygen, adequate inventory of cylinders and functional life support equipment such as ventilators at hospitals to face any challenge.
The health ministry asked them to ensure Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) oxygen generating plants are kept fully functional and regular mock drills are conducted to check them.
In a letter to all states and UTs, Health Ministry Additional Secretary Manohar Agnani said the operationalisation and maintenance of these medical infrastructure is of utmost importance to meet any eventuality even though the number of cases in the country is low now.
He said medical oxygen is an important and vital resource in all clinical settings, particularly during pandemic management and that reliable oxygen supply is critical for saving lives during patient care and COVID-19 management.
Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Saturday said RT-PCR test for the detection of COVID-19 would be made mandatory for passengers from China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore 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 on Thursday cautioned against complacency, called for a strict vigil and directed that the ongoing surveillance measures, especially at the 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 in each international flight from Saturday to minimise the risk of ingress of any new variant of the coronavirus in the country.