A health worker takes a nasal swab sample of a woman to test for COVID-19 in Hyderabad, India, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Image Credit: AP

Kochi: Kerala Health Minister Veena George on Monday said that the state is prepared to handle another Covid wave.

“We’ve been prepared to handle a wave. 13 ICU cases are there currently. We’ve decided to increase the normal and ICU beds, and ventilators according to requirement”, George said.

She also added that senior citizens, pregnant ladies and children are advised to wear a mask while stepping out.

Active Covid cases in Uttar Pradesh have increased three times in the past 10 days.

Almost all the patients, however, are recuperating in home isolation with no major symptoms.

On Monday, the number of active Covid cases went up to 262, but none of them were critical, according to the officials.

With Odisha witnessing daily Covid cases in double digits for nearly 10 days, the state government has directed its major health facilities to remain prepared for hospitalisation of the patients.

“In view of the increasing number of Covid cases and as per the letter of the secretary of the Health and Family Welfare department, all health facilities have to remain in readiness to manage any Covid cases requiring hospitalisation,” director of Public Health department Niranjan Mishra said in a letter to the directors of Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar and RGH in Rourkela, CDMOs and superintendents of government medical colleges and hospitals on Monday.

Earlier on Monday, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan chaired a high-level meeting to review the preparedness status of the entire spectrum of management of the COVID-19 pandemic in view of the upsurge in cases, with States and UTs through Video Conference.

Dr V.K. Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog and Dr Rajiv Bahl, Secretary, Dept. of Health Research were also present in the review meeting.

Union Health Secretary referred to the message of PM Modi from the high-level review meeting held on March 22, 2023 and advised states to be on the alert and ensure preparedness for COVID-19 management.

He cautioned states and UTs against any complacency and advised them to follow up on the priorities listed in the joint advisory issued today by the Department of Health Research and the Department of Health and Family Welfare on March 25, 2023.

He stressed ramping of testing with a higher proportion of RT-PCR and whole genome sequencing of positive samples, urging everyone to follow COVID Appropriate Behaviour at all times.

He also stressed the need to increase the administration of precautionary doses among people, especially for the vulnerable population group.