‘Test, Track, Treat, Vaccinate’: Mandaviya To State Health Ministers In Covid Meeting


New Delhi: Amid rising cases of Covid-19 in China and some other countries, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya asked the states to follow the ‘test, track, treat and vaccinate’ strategy and follow Covid appropriate behaviour. 

In a meeting with the state health ministers to ascertain the Covid situation, Mandaviya asked them to step up testing, boost surveillance and ensure readiness of hospital infrastructure. 

Mandaviya made a suo motu statement in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday on India’s preparedness to curb the spread of the infection.

He said the situation is being constantly monitored. The minister also said while there are no direct flights between China and India, people from the neighbouring country arrive here via other routes.

The focus is to ensure that no new variant of the virus enters the country, he said, adding that at the same time, there is no impediment to travelling.

As China and some other countries witness a surge in the number of 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.

“Covid is not over yet,” Modi reiterated at a high-level meeting to review the situation and urged people to wear masks at crowded places.

The Union health ministry has 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.

MoCA issues guidelines for random testing of international passengers

With random coronavirus testing of international arriving passengers set to start from Saturday, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has said that airlines’ crew members will have to bring such identified passengers to the testing facility at the airport.

Against the backdrop of rising coronavirus cases in China and some other parts of the world, the government has decided to subject 2 per cent of the passengers arriving on international flights to random coronavirus test starting from Saturday morning.

In a communication on Friday, the ministry said that airlines are required to direct their crew members to lead and bring identified 2 per cent of international arriving passengers to the testing facility at the airport.

“The airport operators would create necessary infrastructure to facilitate random testing of international arriving passengers at their respective airports,” the communication said.

The communication has been sent to the aviation regulator DGCA and copies have been marked to all scheduled commercial airlines, airport operators as well as to states and Union Territories (UTs), among others.