Omicron XBB.1.5 Variant: Odisha Govt Prepared To Handle; No Threat To Hockey World Cup

Bhubaneswar: Amid new Omicron sub-variant XBB.1.5 scare, the Odisha government on Monday said it is well prepared to handle any situation, but advised people to take precautions and adhere to COVID-19 protocol for the next 34 to 40 days.

Ruling out any threat to the FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023 slated to begin in the state from January 13, it said elaborate arrangements have been made for the mega international event.

Public Health Director Niranjan Mishra said though the first case linked to XBB.1.5 sub-variant has been detected in India after BF.7, there is not much information about its symptoms and nature while research is being carried out.

However, people must remain careful, take proper precautions and strictly adhere to COVID-19  guidelines for the next 30 to 40 days, he said, adding that there is nothing to worry as the government is well-equipped and all arrangements have been made to deal with the situation.

Stating that all medical colleges have been advised to keep ready at least 20 beds each, Mishra said the district headquarters hospitals also have adequate beds for COVID-19 patients. The number of beds will be increased if necessary.

At present, there are only 50 COVID cases in the state and there is no need for panic though the number of cases may increase for which the government is prepared, he said.

On the arrangements made for the Hockey World Cup, Health Director Bijay Mohapatra said all the Urban PHCs and CHCs in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Rourkela are well-equipped with COVID testing facilities, while special testing facilities have also been set up inside stadiums.

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