Patnaik alerts people on Omicron variant, Odisha reports 183 new COVID-19 cases

A day after Odisha reported its first Omicron cases, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday appealed to people to strictly follow the COVID-19 appropriate behaviour to defeat the new variant of coronavirus.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik
Patnaik made the appeal through a video message, saying: "Now COVID-19 new variant Omicron is spreading across the globe. Therefore, I appeal to people to remain alert and follow the norms like wearing masks, hand wash, maintaining social distancing and avoid crowd." Stating that the state with the support of people has successfully tackled the first and second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the chief minister said public cooperation was essential.
Odisha on Tuesday reported two cases of Omicron variant after conducting genome sequencing of 12 COVID-19 positive patients who recently returned from foreign countries.
Meanwhile, the state government on Wednesday convened a meeting of senior officials to discuss additional measures to be taken in view of the Omicron variant which has already made its entry into Odisha. ''The meeting resolved to increase surveillance and vaccination activities. The government will expand genome sequencing tests,'' said Nirajan Mishra, the director of public health service.
Health Services Director Bijay Mohapatra said the Central Government has written to all states and union territories advising the administrations to impose restrictions if the test positivity rate (TPR) crosses 10 per cent or occupancy of oxygen-supported ICU beds touches 40 per cent.
"Therefore, the people should adhere to COVID-19 appropriate behaviour. We should take every possible step to stop further transmission of the virus," he said, adding that Omicron is three times more transmissible than the Delta variant.
Noting that the present situation shouldn't be taken lightly, he said, people's cooperation is essential to fight the danger from the Omicron.
The Centre has suggested to states to formulate a strategy that can ensure infection is contained at the local level itself before it spreads to other parts of the state.
Meanwhile, Odisha recorded a slight rise in its daily COVID caseload on Wednesday as 183 more people tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hours pushing the tally to 10,53,349. The state had reported 146 cases on Tuesday and 186 and 193 cases on Monday and Sunday respectively.
The new cases included 30 children and adolescents, the official said. Khurda district of which state capital Bhubaneswar is a part reported the highest of 99 new cases followed by Cuttack at 13. Thirteen districts reported no new cases.
The state's daily test positivity rate now stands at 0.32 per cent as 183 people tested positive for infection out of 55,794 samples tested on Tuesday. Odisha now has 1,804 active COVID-19 cases.
As many as 10,43,045 patients have recovered from COVID-19.
With one more fatality reported from Kendrapara district, the state's COVID death toll reached 8,447 on Wednesday. At least 53 other COVID-19 patients have so far succumbed due to comorbidities, the official said.
The state has thus far tested 2.49 crore samples for COVID-19 while over 1.90 crore beneficiaries are fully inoculated with both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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