New Delhi: The next 40 days will be crucial as India may see a surge in Covid-19 cases in January, Health Ministry officials said, going by the pattern of previous outbreaks.

“Previously, it has been noticed that a new wave of Covid-19 hits India around 30-35 days after it hits East Asia…. This has been a trend,” news agency PTI quoted an official as saying on Wednesday.

According to the Health Ministry officials, the severity of the infection this time is less and even if there is a wave, fatalities and hospitalisation will be very low.

As per the health ministry officials, 39 international passengers, out of 6,000, tested on arrival, were found Covid positive in the last two days.

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya will visit the Delhi airport to take stock of testing and screening facilities in the wake of a global surge, officials said.

It is to be noted that the government has made random Covid testing mandatory for two per cent of the passengers arriving in each international flight from Saturday.

The officials said filling up of ‘air suvidha’ forms and 72-hour prior RT-PCR test may be made mandatory from next week for international passengers coming from China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore.

Amid a surge in Covid cases in some countries, including China and South Korea, the government has issued an alert and asked the states and Union territories to prepare for any eventuality.

Meanwhile, mock drills were conducted at health facilities across India on Tuesday to check operational readiness to deal with any surge in Covid cases, with Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya saying the country has to remain alert and prepared as cases are rising in the world.

Notably, the latest spike in cases is being driven by Omicron sub-variant BF.7.

The health ministry officials said that the transmissibility of this BF.7 sub-variant is very high and a person infected with it can further infect 16 persons.

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