Amid the Omicron scare, the Union Health Ministry on Thursday has asked the States and UTs to impose night curfews and ensure strict regulation of large gatherings, especially ahead of Christmas and New Year festivities. It also asked the administration of poll-bound states--Punjab, Goa, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand--to exponentially ramp up vaccination against COVID-19.
"Give special focus toto those districts where the first and second dose coverage is less than the national average. Strengthen door-to-door vaccination campaign especially in States/UTs where vaccination coverage is below the national average. States going in for elections in the near future to exponentially ramp up the vaccination, especially in the low coverage districts to protect the vulnerable population. Pockets with low vaccination coverage and those with low COVID exposure may be more vulnerable to the new Omicron variant. States to accord special attention to ramp up vaccination in these pockets," the Union Health Ministry said in a release.
It also advised the States/UTs to increase bed capacity and ensure logistics like ambulances. "Ensure operational readiness of oxygen equipment. Maintain buffer stock of essential medicines of at least 30 days. Utilize funds sanctioned under Emergency COVID Response Package (ECRP-II) to ensure that the requisite capacity of health systems is developed at/near hotspots to respond to any emergency. State health secretaries to monitor the status and progress of fiscal spending and physical progress in this regard on a daily basis. Ensure stringent enforcement of home quarantine/ isolation as per extant guidelines," the Union Health Ministry added.
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