Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Amid concerns over the potentially more contagious new Omicron variant of coronavirus detected in some countries recently, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday said all the people who arrived in the state from international destinations in the past one month will have to go undergo COVID-19 test.
The state government also withdrew the earlier announced relaxations for schools and decided that they will continue to hold online classes and run physical classes with 50 per cent strength of students only after consent from their parents.
Chouhan had on November 17 announced withdrawal all coronavirus-related restrictions in Madhya Pradesh with immediate effect while allowing all social, political, sports, entertainment, cultural and religious activities with full capacity.
On Sunday, after a meeting with senior officials over the COVID-19 situation, Chouhan said a new variant of the coronavirus has been found in some countries. Though no case of it has been found in India yet, some decisions have been taken in Madhya Pradesh as a precautionary measure.
Along with the central government's guidelines, some additional precautions will be taken, he said.
"Those who came to Madhya Pradesh from other countries by international flights during the past one month will be tested in accordance with norms set by the Centre. They will be isolated if found with any symptom," he said.
Chouhan also said that directives have been issued to increase the number of genome sequencing examination.
The chief minister also said he has given instructions to ensure the availability of essential medicines, including Remdesivir injections.
Directives have also been issued to repair other equipment, oxygen lines and plants and make all arrangements in hospitals as well, he said.
He said 58,000 to 60,000 tests for COVID-19 were being conducted per day in the state.
"The number of tests will also be increased now. We will strictly follow guidelines of the Government of India and the World Health Organisation. We have to take special care of children and those below 18 years of age, as they have not been vaccinated," he said.
Chouhan said the state government has decided that schools will open with 50 per cent attendance from Monday.
This means each child will need to attend school only for three days in a week, he said, adding that schools will also need to run online classes as an alternate option.
"If parents do not want to send their children to school, then they should be given the option of online classes. Parental consent is required for children to go to school for physical classes. The children will go to school only when their parents agree to it," he said.
Chouhan also said that 62.5 per cent of the eligible people have received the COVID-19 vaccine in Madhya Pradesh.
"Vaccination is being done daily, but a mega campaign will be held on December 1. I urge everyone that those who have not taken the second dose must get themselves fully vaccinated," he said.
The CM said he will virtually review the COVID-19 situation with the district collectors and superintendents of police on Monday.
"I will discuss with the crisis management committees on December 1. We will keep everyone ready so that if the third wave comes, we can fight it with our full potential," he said, while appealing to people to support the fight against the pandemic.
On Saturday, Madhya Pradesh reported 23 fresh cases of COVID-19, raising the state's infection tally to 7,93,120, while the death toll remained unchanged at 10,528, as per official data.