Omicron: Health Secy expresses concern over lack of Covid-appropriate measures

He said that unless there is a visible change of behavior among people and strict enforcement of masks, social distance, sanitization ensuring ventilation in closed places along with increasing the pace of vaccinations, it will be difficult and impossible to contain the spread of Omicron and the already existing Delta variant.
Omicron: Health Secy expresses concern over lack of Covid-appropriate measures
Health secretary J Radhakrishnan (File Photo)

Chennai

Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan, in a letter to district Collectors and Greater Chennai Corporation, expressed concerns over the lack of follow-up of Covid appropriate behavior in public places and gatherings.
He said that unless there is a visible change of behavior among people and strict enforcement of masks, social distance, sanitization ensuring ventilation in closed places along with increasing the pace of vaccinations, it will be difficult and impossible to contain the spread of Omicron and the already existing Delta variant.
He stated that the many people, including faculty, staff, students, and visitors at hospitals and medical colleges are not wearing masks, not strictly implementing perimeter control, and demarcating COVID-19 and Omicron suspect wards in a few places. He emphasized that it is more concerning in case of Omicron, as symptoms are very mild and a person may not even know that he is sick and would be unknowingly spreading it to many.
Based on preliminary data in contact tracing, the Health Secretary said that it is clearly shown that the spread among close contacts and in closed unventilated rooms is significantly and extremely high in the case of the Omicron variant.
He instructed the local authorities to stringently ensure implementation of the SOPs and if any person comes for a test, the person should be asked to be in self-isolation till the results come to avoid further spread in case the results are positive as Omicron has high transmissibility. 
The district Collectors, GCC, and local authorities are asked to intensify the vigil and ensure that SOPs are followed in gatherings, and containment measures as per the guidelines for the number of cases detected should be put in place along with contact tracing. 
Those who have not had a travel history but have symptoms should also be tested and followed up to find the source of infections in case they return positive results. Radhakrishnan also emphasized ensuring the vaccination of those who are due and overdue for vaccination.

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