Bhubaneswar: Government To Announce Guideline: After two cases detected in Odisha, the new COVID-19 variant of concern, has become a cause of worry for people in Odisha owing to the high-transmission rate of the variant as found during initial studies across the globe. The Odisha government is also not leaving any stone unturned to combat the eventualities arising out of the new COVID variant.
The State Government has decided to send more samples for genome sequencing to detect Omicron cases of COVID-19. Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra on Wednesday convened a meeting of senior officials of the Health Department to discuss a strategy to prepare for the Omicron scare.
So far, the COVID-19 positive samples of foreign returnees were being sent for genome sequencing. However, to ensure a more robust procedure to check the spread of Omicron, those samples with higher CT (cycle threshold) value will be undergo genome sequencing, Director of Public Health, Dr Niranjan Mishra said.
Dr Mishra, who was also a part of the high level meeting convened by the Chief Secretary, added, the State Government is very likely to announce a special guideline on the eve of New Year, to check crowding at public places.
To check the spread of COVID-19 in schools, the School and Mass Education Department has been directed to ensure complete isolation of students who test positive to check the spread of the infection.
“Similarly, the Collectors and Municipal Commissioners have advised to ramp up vaccination drives in their respective districts and Corporation. They have been asked to issue guidelines and restrictions to check crowding during Christmas and New Year period,” Dr Mishra added.
While the samples of two foreign returnees have been confirmed as Omicron cases, further spread of the virulent strain cannot be ruled out. Taking this into account, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today cautioned people of Odisha to be very watchful and ensure wearing masks and adhering to COVID guidelines.