Odisha Govt To Issue New COVID Guidelines This Evening

Bhubaneswar: In view of rising cases of infections across the globe due to Omicron variant BF.7, the Odisha government will be issuing a fresh advisory, asking people to adhere to COVID-appropriate behaviour like using masks, washing hands, self-isolation for symptomatic and avoid spitting in public places, this evening, Health and Family Welfare Director Bijay Mohapatra informed on Friday.

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Following the crucial meeting of the health secretary and experts, Panigrahi said that cases are on the rise in five countries and suggestions were taken from RMRC and ILS on the way forward in accordance with the advisory issued by the Centre.

There is a need for using masks and avoiding crowds while maintaining hygiene, he said, adding that 11 cases were detected in the last 24 hours and the weekly average has remained below 200. The test positivity rate in Odisha is less than 0.5%.

“When we talk about avoiding crowds, it also includes Christmas and New Year celebrations. Hockey World Cup will be held next month and decisions will be taken as and when the situation arises,” he said.

Testing and surveillance will continue. “Symptomatic people will be tested and cases monitored as was the case during the first and second waves. There is no need to panic but at the same time, there is no room for complacency,” he added.

Notably, vigil on foreign returnees has been stepped up. Swab samples of people, who had returned to the state on or before November 24 will be collected and sent for testing. As per the Centre’s guidelines, the state health department will also conduct COVID testing at airports.

Collectors, district Chief Medical Officers, and heads of healthcare institutions have been asked to strengthen surveillance and conduct  Whole-Genome Sequencing (WGS) through the Indian SARS CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) network in view of recent rising cases in China, Japan, the US, South Korea, and Brazil.

Further testing, tracking, treating, contact tracing, vaccination and COVID-appropriate behaviour need to be followed scrupulously to enable the timely detection of newer variants and facilitate immediate containment measures.

 

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