During testing of foreign travellers at Indian airports and ports between December 24 and January 3, eleven COVID-19 variations were found, according to government sources. According to the sources, eleven Omicron sub-variants that had previously been identified as being prevalent in the nation were discovered when testing overseas travellers. International traveller samples totaling 19,227 were analysed, and 124 of those results were positive and isolated, according to the report.
40 of the 124 positive tests had genome sequencing results available, and the largest number of samples with XBB, including XBB.1, was 14. Official sources state that one sample had BF 7.4.1.
According to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India recorded a modest increase in COVID infections on Thursday, with 188 new cases reported in the previous 24 hours (MoHFW).
On Wednesday, 175 additional cases were reported nationwide. The MoHFW reports that India now has 2,554 active cases, having an active case rate of 0.01 percent. The nation’s recovery rate, meanwhile, was 98.8% after 201 recoveries occurred on the previous day, bringing the total to 4,41,46,055.
According to the Health Ministry, the nation’s weekly and daily positive rates are 0.12 and 0.10 percent, respectively.
The Health Ministry said that a total of 220.12 crore vaccine doses—95.13 crore second doses and 22.42 crore precaution doses—have been provided as part of the nationwide vaccination campaign against COVID-19, with 61,828 of those doses administered on the previous day. The number of COVID tests performed across the nation increased to 91.15 crores as a result of the 1,93,051 tests that were completed in the past 24 hours, according to the report.
The operational readiness of health institutions is being examined in all states and Union Territories in case of another wave, since there have been reports of an increase in COVID cases in various nations. Covid instances have recently increased globally due to the BF.7 strain, which is thought to be the main source of the increase, particularly in China and the US.
The World Health Organization (WHO) issued an official statement stating that they will continue to closely monitor the situation in the People’s Republic of China and globally and urged all the countries to continue to be vigilant, to monitor and report sequences, as well as to conduct independent and comparative research after reviewing the data, which shows Omicron subvariants BA.5.2 and BF.7 are predominant and account for 97.5 percent of all local infections.
Pre-departure RT-PCR testing is now required for all overseas travellers arriving in India from China, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Thailand, and Japan.
According to a press statement from the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on January 2, 2023, the test must be completed 72 hours before travelling. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has decided to alter its current criteria for international arrivals in light of the growing COVID instances in the aforementioned nations, according to a ministry announcement from Lav Agarwal, assistant secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
It stated that the Air Suvidha Portal of the Ministry of Civil Aviation must be made operational for passengers on all international flights from these nations, with a provision allowing international travellers arriving in India to submit both a self-declaration form and negative RT-PCR test reports on this portal.