Will Odisha Lift COVID Curbs? Public Health Director Urges Caution, Says Omicron Highly Transmissible

Bhubaneswar: With daily COVID-19 cases falling in Odisha and states like Delhi planning to lift curbs, there is anticipation among people that the Odisha government might announce relaxations in the coming days.

State Public Health Director Dr Niranjan Mishra on Friday, however, cautioned that daily COVID cases in Odisha haven’t come down completely.

“The graph is falling. But cases haven’t come down completely. We need to wait for some more days,” he said while speaking to mediapersons.

“Several parameters have to be gauged before relaxing the restrictions. Omicron is highly transmissible and can explode anytime,” he cautioned.

Stressing that the third wave was less severe as more people in the state are vaccinated now, Mishra urged people who haven’t been vaccinated yet to take the shot as early as possible.

He also urged beneficiaries of the precaution dose, including frontline, health workers and people above 60 years with co-morbidities, to get the shot at the earliest.

On January 24, Mishra had said that Omicron might soon enter community transmission stage in the state, which might see an explosion in cases.

But after recording 147 Omicron cases on January 19, taking the state tally to 347, Odisha has not reported fresh cases of the new variant.

Mishra clarified on Thursday that that was because scientists at the Institute of Life Sciences (ILS), who were carrying out genome sequencing, were themselves down with COVID.

The daily COVID caseload in Odisha has remained below 10,000 during the past week, with cases continuing to dip. On Friday, it reported 5,057 new cases with a test positivity rate (TPR) of 8.20 per cent.

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