As China faces a deluge of Covid-19 cases, Apollo Hospitals' joint managing director Sangita Reddy urged the government to act swiftly on the country's policy regarding air travel to and from China.
"There is no place for inertia. We must act swiftly on policy regarding air travel to & from #China," Reddy said in a tweet while tagging the Office of the Prime Minister of India.
She, however, added that given India's extensive vaccination drive with effective vaccines, there is no need for panic on the surge in Covid-19 cases in China.
The current Covid-19 spread in China is not only an unfolding tragedy for China but it exposes the world population to great risk which may have wider implications on public health and global supply chains, Reddy had tweeted earlier.
Amid a surge in Covid-19 cases in some countries, union minister of health and family welfare Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday reviewed the situation with experts. The high level meeting came in the backdrop of a sudden spurt in Covid-19 cases in Japan, Republic of Korea, Brazil, China and the U.S.
"COVID is not over yet. I have directed all concerned to be alert and strengthen surveillance. We are prepared to manage any situation," the health minister said.
The union health minister also wrote a letter to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot asking them to ensure that proper Covid-19 guidelines are being followed during the Bharat Jodo Yatra which entered Haryana from Rajasthan. The government has also advised people to wear masks in crowded areas.
This new advisory comes a month after the Ministry of Civil Aviation said the use of masks is not compulsory during air travel.
Meanwhile, Serum Institute of India chief executive officer Adar Poonawalla said the news of rising Covid-19 cases coming out of China is concerning. "We need not panic given our excellent vaccination coverage and track record. We must continue to trust and follow the guidelines set by the Government of India and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare," Poonawalla said.
The government has asked all states and Union Territories (UTs) to step up vigil against Covid-19 cases and ensure that samples of all positive cases, on a daily basis, are sent to the designated Genome Sequencing Laboratories (lGSLs) that are part of the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACoG) network spread across the country.