No New Omicron Cases Reported In Odisha Since Jan 19; Know Why

Bhubaneswar: It has been over a week since Odisha last reported new Omicron cases. It had seen a steep rise in cases of this variant of COVID-19 on January 19 when the Institute of Life Sciences (ILS) informed the Health Department about 147 positive results during genome sequencing, taking the tally to 347.

The statement by Public Health Director Dr Niranjan Mishra on January 24 that Omicron will soon be entering the community transmission stage in the state, which might then see an explosion in cases, further raised eyebrows.

While the daily caseload has remained below 10,000 during the past week, Mishra on Thursday revealed that the government does have data on the current status of Omicron cases in the state since ILS scientists, who were carrying out genome sequencing of samples of infected patients to trace the presence of the new strain, are down with COVID-19.

Also Read: Odisha Registers Sharp Jump In Omicron Cases; Affected Tally Rises To 347

“Whatever data is available with us are all of earlier cases,” he added.

An analysis of community samples by ILS had earlier revealed that Omicron was fast replacing the Delta variant of COVID-19 as around 60 per cent of those collected randomly from 10 districts between January 9 and January 16 carried the highly mutated and more transmissible SARS-CoV2.

Notably, 74.5 per cent of community samples, collected between December 29 and January 9, and sequenced at ILS was that Delta variant.

Also Read: Cases May Explode Once Omicron Enters Community Transmission Stage In Odisha: Public Health Director

Mishra, however, said that the trial run of ‘OmiSure’ RT-PCR test kits has begun and these will come in handy for detecting the fast-spreading variant.

Odisha has received 30,000 of the 5 lakh kits, which it had ordered on January 10, becoming the first-ever state in India to buy OmiSure developed by Tata Medical and Diagnostics Ltd in partnership with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

It was on December 21 that the first two cases of Omicron was detected in Odisha and another two were found infected by this variant of COVID-19 on December 23, four on December 26, one on December 29, five on December 30 and 23 on January 2.

On January 9, 14 Omicron cases were detected while January 5 saw 24 people testing positive for this variant in the state. On January 10, 28 new Omicron cases were detected and among them, 18 had international travel history. Of the cumulative 103 cases then, 83 were detected in the last 10 days. A big jump in cases was reported on January 12 when 67 samples were found positive. On January 15, the state saw another 32 new cases while 147 more people tested positive for this variant of COVID-19 on January 19.

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