New Delhi: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, on Saturday (December 24) wrote to all States/UTs to ensure a functional and regular supply of medical oxygen for Covid-19 pandemic managementI.

This notice comes ahead of the nationwide mock drills which are to be held on Tuesday (December 27). In view of an unprecedented spike in Covid-19 cases in China and some other countries, the Government of India has begun preparations to tackle the coronavirus threat by taking a slew of measures including emergency mock drills in hospitals from Tuesday and approval to Covid nasal vaccine.

According to the Union Health Ministry, States and Union territories will undertake a mock drill across all health facilities from Tuesday to ensure the operational readiness of the Covid-dedicated facilities, with a specific focus on oxygen plants, ventilators, logistics and human resources, according to official sources.

The Union Health Ministry sources said that fresh guidelines are being prepared for Christmas and New Year revelry.

Among other measures, the Health Ministry had announced that Bharat Biotech’s intranasal Covid vaccine has been approved by the Centre for inclusion in the vaccination programme as a booster dose for those above 18 years of age. Those who have taken Covishield and Covaxin can take the nasal vaccine as a heterologous booster dose.

The needle-free vaccine will be available at private centres. It will be introduced on the Co-WIN platform on Friday evening, sources said. The nasal vaccine – BBV154 – received approval from the Drugs Controller General of India in November for restricted use in an emergency situation for those above 18 as a booster dose.