The new variant of Coronavirus (COVID-19), Omicron, has been spreading rapidly across the world and with increasing cases, governments are concerned about tackling it effectively.
According to the reports shared by Maharashtra State Health Department, a total of 10 patients have tested positive for the variant in Maharashtra, and approximately 65 samples have been sent for genome sequencing. The results for these tests are expected in a few days, however, the health condition of the patients is fine. Information regarding the same was given by State Health Minister, Rajesh Tope, in a press conference conducted on Wednesday, December 8, 2021.
Sharing more information, he said that the mortality is extremely low worldwide, and hence the citizens should not panic. The situation is not as bad as it seems and the government is following the instructions given by the central government. Measures are being taken accordingly keeping safety aspects in mind. He said that that the reviews are being conducted regularly across all districts.
“As of now, we have only seen the rapid spread of the new virus in South Africa. However, given the current situation, Omicron patients are found in large numbers in 64 countries of the world. Omicron cases are high in the UK, followed by France and South Africa,” he said.
While describing the situation in the state, he emphasized on the measures taken by the state government. “Screening is being taken care of at airports and emphasis is being placed on tracking, tracing and testing those who are positive, and are coming from high risk countries. Travellers who have come from countries are being monitored. We are taking measures,” Minister Tope said.
Assuring safety and strict process, he said that those who have come in contact with the COVID-infected patients or passengers are being traced or contacted, and protocols are being followed to ensure the spread is contained. Search operations are being conducted if the passengers are not found at the details found. Moreover, ones who test positive for COVID-19 are being placed under quarantine or isolation as per the guidelines.
On the vaccination front, Minister Tope said the state has so far given the first dose to more than 12 crore citizens and this accounts to 84 per cent of the population. Meanwhile, the tally of citizens who have taken the second dose stands at 46 per cent. Considering the numbers, he appealed to the citizens to get vaccinated as it is the only way to stay safe from the virus. Reports state that several citizens have skipped their second jab, due to vaccine negligence. To stress about the same, awareness programs and campaigns have been planned in several districts.
Meanwhile, reports state that RTPCR test are being charged at a higher rate at airports and addressing this concern, he added that he government is working towards reducing the same. Currently the rates are approximately INR 5,000, and efforts will be made to bring it down to INR 2,000. Moreover, the government has already demanded vaccination for children and booster dose. A meeting would be held on December 9, 2021, with the Union Health Minister, through video conferencing, where the demands would be re-introduced on behalf of the state.