Covid-19: Gujarat to launch special drive for booster dose, conduct random tests at airports
In view of the spurt in COVID-19 cases in some countries, the Gujarat government has decided to conduct random tests on 2 per cent of all passengers arriving at international airports in Ahmedabad and Surat and launch a special drive to expand the coverage of booster doses, a minister said on Friday.
State health minister Rushikesh Patel said issues, including precautionary measures, were discussed at a virtual meeting of health ministers chaired by Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya to review the COVID-19 situation and preparedness.
"To keep a tab on the entry of a new variant in our country, we have decided to conduct tests on 2 per cent of all the passengers arriving daily at the international airports at Surat and Ahmedabad.
"While thermal scanning of all the passengers is compulsory at these airports, we will set domes at these airports for passengers to undergo voluntary testing," Patel told reporters after the meeting.
He said a host of issues regarding preparedness and measures to be taken by states were discussed at the meeting with Mandaviya.
"Thanks to the massive vaccination drive and herd immunity among the masses, the situation in India is under control," Patel said.
"At present, only 33 per cent of the eligible adults in Gujarat have taken the booster dose of the vaccine. We want to take it to 100 per cent. To do so, we will launch a special drive across the state and officials were also given instructions. People should also come forward and take the dose," the state health minister said.
He said a mock drive will be conducted on December 27 to check whether critical health infrastructure, such as PSA oxygen plants at hospitals and ventilators, are functioning properly and whether they can be put to use on an urgent basis if needed.
Patel said only three persons in Gujarat were found infected with the BF.7 sub-variant of Omicron, believed to be driving the surge in cases in China, in the recent past but they have recovered in home isolation.
"There are no active cases of BF.7 (in Gujarat) at present," he added.