Covid-19 threat.

THE National Command and Operation Centre's recent recommendation that people wear masks at crowded public places and healthcare facilities is a reminder that, despite the gains made against Covid-19 - thanks to global vaccination campaigns - the threat from the virus is far from over. The NCOC said that the national positivity rate was almost 3pc, with some patients in critical condition, though it did not report any deaths from the infection. It is encouraging that the authorities are focusing on testing, and following the protocols put in place during previous Covid-19 waves. Though the health minister claimed there will be testing and screening of passengers at all airports, it is at this stage not clear how well these measures will be implemented. It is important that the authorities remain vigilant, not only by following the infection's trajectory and community spread in the country, but also by keeping an eye on reports of variants and hospitalisations abroad. There are reports of a new variant in Israel, for example, which have prompted health officials there to raise concerns. In India, too...

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