Hyderabad: The State health department on Sunday said that it is geared-up to meet any kind of resurgence of Covid infections triggered by Omicron (B1.1.529), the new variant of SARS-CoV-2 that was first reported by health officials in South Africa.
Director of Public Health (DPH) Dr G Srinivasa Rao on Sunday said that while the entire healthcare machinery is prepared and alert to handle a possible surge in Covid infections, general public in Telangana need not panic by the new variant and they must continue to follow Covid appropriate behaviour like use of masks, physical distancing and sanitization, seriously.
“We are on a state of high alert at the RGIA airport in Shamshabad. For the past two-days, the cases of Covid infections in Telangana are stable and there is no discernable rise in the infections. We have enough manpower at the airport and international passengers are being screened. We are also conducting RT-PCR tests at the airport itself and arrangements were also taken up to keep passengers who test Covid positive in 14-day quarantine. So far not a single Omicron case has been reported in India,” said Dr Rao after a review meeting with Health Minister, T Harish Rao on the recent developments related to the new variant of SARS-CoV-2, on Sunday.
In the past few months, anticipating a third Covid wave, the State government has taken a series of measures to improve infrastructure like adding more hospital beds, developing medical oxygen lines to hospital beds and creating infrastructure for paediatric Covid cases, across all government hospitals, he pointed out.
“I urge people not to panic but at the same time, not to take things easy. This is the time to get vaccinated at the earliest and follow Covid appropriate behaviour,” he said.
For the past four to five months, the daily Covid infections in Telangana have been stable and hovered between 100 and 150. Apart from that, about 90 per cent of the eligible individuals have received the first dose of Covid vaccine while 45 per cent of the eligible persons have received the second dose, in Telangana. There are close to 25 lakh individuals in Telangana who have missed-out on the second dose of the Covid vaccine, and have lapsed the time to get them administered.
“As cases of Covid infections have dropped, there is no sense of urgency, which has triggered vaccine hesitancy among people. That’s the reason why so many individuals have avoided getting the second dose of Covid vaccine. General public must realize that if they keep taking precautions like use of masks and physical distancing, the impact of a fresh surge can be managed,” Dr Rao said.
Director of Medical Education (DME), Dr K Ramesh Reddy said that all possible measures to handle or manage the third Covid wave were taken-up in the last few months. “It is too early to predict the impact of the Omicron variant and the third wave. However, people must start taking Covid precautions seriously,”
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