As the country ramps up surveillance of cases, India’s health minister has called for a return to Covid-appropriate behavior, including wearing masks in public.
Top health experts have also urged individuals to be immunized and receive booster shots.
Following a decrease in infection levels, India modified its mask-wearing regulations early this year.
However, an increase in cases in neighboring China has put the country on high alert.
In recent months, India has reported four Covid-19 cases caused by BF.7, an Omicron subvariant connected to an increase in cases in China.
The cases, three in Gujarat and one in Odisha, were discover in July, September, and November, respectively, and the patients have recovered, according to health officials.
According to government data, India now has roughly 3,400 active coronavirus infections, but many people are concerned about rumors of a spike in China.
Several specialists have stated that India, which had two devastating Covid waves in 2020 and 2021, does not need to panic.
Mansukh Mandaviya, India’s health minister, said in parliament on Thursday that while instances in China were increasing, they were “depleting” in India. He said that the government was actively monitoring novel variants and that states should expand genome sequencing.
The federal government requested states earlier this week to transmit samples of all Covid positive patients to labs maintained by a health ministry group that monitors various strains of Covid in India.
Mr. Mandaviya also urged governments to encourage people to observe social distancing and other rules during the upcoming holiday season.
Officials have begun randomly administering Covid-19 testing to overseas travelers at airports.
In November, India modified air travel regulations, making it optional – “though recommended” – for travelers to wear masks on flights and requiring international passengers to be fully vaccinat. There has yet to be an official notification concerning air travel policy changes.
On Wednesday, Mr. Mandaviya presided over a high-level conference with health experts to examine the country’s Covid situation. He urge people to wear masks, keep social distance, wash their hands frequently, and get vaccinat.
Over 2.2 billion Covid vaccine doses have been distribute in the country, but only 27% of the population has received the booster dose, also known as a “precaution dose” in India.
Several state chief ministers have been evaluating their readiness to cope with infections if necessary.
Later Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will convene a meeting to assess the situation.