The Indian Medical Association on Thursday urged citizens to follow Covid-19 appropriate behaviour amid a surge in cases in neighbouring China and some other countries, reported NDTV.

In an advisory, the doctors’ body told citizens to wear masks in public, maintain physical distancing, use sanitisers and wash hands regularly with soap in view of “impending Covid-19 outbreak”.

“As per the available reports, nearly 5.37 lakhs new cases have been reported in last 24 hours from major countries like the USA, Japan, South Korea, France, and Brazil,” it said. “India has reported 145 new cases in last 24 hours, out of which four cases are the new China variant – BF.7.”

The association also advised citizens to avoid public gatherings such as marriages, political or social meetings as well as international travel. It urged them to consult doctors in case of any symptoms like fever, sore throat, cough, loose motions etc and get precautionary Covid-19 doses at the earliest.

The medical body advised the government to boost the preparedness by directing ministries and departments to make available emergency medicines, oxygen supply and ambulance services to avoid a repeat of the devastating second wave of the coronavirus that had hit the country last year.

“As of now, the situation is not alarming and therefore there is no need to panic,” the doctors’ body said. “Prevention is better than cure.”

Meanwhile, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya told the Lok Sabha on Thursday that random RT-PCR sampling has been started at international airports, reported ANI. “We are committed to tackling the pandemic and are taking appropriate steps,” he said.

The minister also said that while Covid-19 cases have been rising across the globe for the last few days, daily infections were going down in India.

He reiterated the Centre’s advice to wear masks, use sanitisers and maintain physical distancing.

Amid the surge in coronavirus cases in China, the health minister had convened a meeting on Wednesday to discuss the situation in India. He had directed officials to remain alert and strengthen surveillance.

“Covid-19 is not over yet,” Mandaviya had tweeted. “We are prepared to manage any situation.”

On Tuesday, the Union health ministry had urged states to send all Covid-19 positive samples for genome sequencing, saying that this would ensure timely detection of newer variants, if any.