Maha Covid-19 task force asks local bodies to watch out for virus spread during New Year celebrations - Hindustan Times
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Maha Covid-19 task force asks local bodies to watch out for virus spread during New Year celebrations

ByVicky Pathare
Dec 29, 2023 06:48 AM IST

Maharashtra has reported 10 cases of the highly transmissible JN.1, a new sub-lineage of Omicron, and a spike is likely during celebrations

The newly-formed state Covid-19 task force on Thursday asked the local administration to watch out for virus movement during New Year festivities over the next two weeks. Maharashtra has reported 10 cases of the highly transmissible JN.1, a new sub-lineage of Omicron, and a spike is likely during celebrations, officials said.

Health experts have warned against the possible spread of Covid-19 during New Year revelry. (HT PHOTO)
Health experts have warned against the possible spread of Covid-19 during New Year revelry. (HT PHOTO)

Health experts have warned against the possible spread of Covid-19 during New Year revelry. Health minister Tanaji Sawant held a meeting with all local bodies of the state during which, members of the newly-formed state Covid-19 task force were also present. With the New Year fast approaching, mass gatherings and travel within and outside are likely to increase, facilitating Covid-19 transmission. All local bodies have been asked to monitor the surge in cases till January 10, 2024, they said. The newly-formed state Covid-19 task force will come up with detailed guidelines to manage Covid-19 within a week, considering the new threats emerging from the new sub-variant of the virus.

A member of the task force on condition of anonymity said, “The public should be made aware to avoid unnecessary gatherings and exposure to the virus during New Year celebrations. The new sub-variant is capable of spreading fast in the community and becoming the dominant strain. Preventive measures have to be taken against this, considering people with co-morbidities.”

Dr Bhagwan Pawar, health officer of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), said that they have been asked not to panic but continue surveillance of severe acute respiratory illness and influenza-like illness (ILI) cases. “There is no need to panic as most of the JN.1 patients reported in other countries are being treated through home isolation. We will monitor the spread of Covid cases during the festive season,” he said. Dr Pawar said that they have been asked to check the availability of medicines and oxygen. “We have been asked to increase the number of daily swab samples taken for testing,” he said.

Dr Nagnath Yempalay, civil surgeon of Pune district, said that the task force has asked to increase public awareness as also the number of samples for testing. “We have increased the number of samples for Covid-19 testing. The line of treatment for the patients will remain the same. However, any changes in the line of treatment will be recommended by the task force,” he said.

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