New Delhi: Amid concerns over rising Omicron cases of COVID-19 variant, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday (December 25) said urged people not to panic and be alert.
"In India, many people have been found to be infected with Omicron. I would urge all of you not to panic, be careful and alert. Remember to wash hands and mask," the Prime Minister said in an address to the nation.
As per the Union Health Ministry, India has reported 7,189 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours. Meanwhile, the nationwide case tally of the Omicron variant of coronavirus has reached 415.
Amid the Omicron scare and surge in cases in various parts of the country, the Union Health Ministry on Saturday said that multi-disciplinary Central teams would be deployed in ten identified states.
"A decision has been taken to deploy multi-disciplinary Central teams to 10 identified States some of which are either reporting an increasing number of Omicron and COVID-19 cases or slow vaccination pace," says Union Health Ministry in an official statement
Multi-disciplinary Central teams are to be deployed in Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Mizoram, Karnataka, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Punjab.
These teams will be stationed in the states for three to five days and will work along with the State Health Authorities.
As per the Ministry, these teams will specifically look at areas of contact tracing, including surveillance, containment operations, and COVID-19 testing, including sending adequate samples from clusters to the INSACOG network for genome sequencing.
The teams will also be responsible for the enforcement of COVID Appropriate Behaviors, availability of hospital beds, sufficient logistics including ambulances, ventilators, medical oxygen etc., and COVID-19 vaccination progress in the states.
"The State level central teams will assess the situation, suggest remedial actions and submit a report every evening by 7 PM on the public health activities being undertaken to both the Central and state government," the statement further read.
Amid the new variant, PM Modi has announced a precaution dose would be available for frontline workers and those who are above 60 years and suffering from comorbidities on their doctor's advice. PM has also announced that those between 15-18 can get vaccinated. DGCI has approved Bharat Biotech's Covaxin for kids aged between 12 to 18.
While the vaccination for children between 15-18 commences from January 3, precautionary dose for frontline and healthcare workers is set to roll out from January 10.