- Central government is reconsidering decision to allow international commercial flights
- The new variant Omicron was first detected in South Africa
- Citizens have been advised to follow Covid safety measures
Amid the new Covid variant 'Omicron' scare, the Uttarakhand government has asked authorities to test and isolate people who are returning from African countries.
Meanwhile, health authorities in Telangana on Sunday sounded an alert in view of Omicron, the new variant of Covid-19 reported from South Africa and some other countries.
Health Minister T Harish Rao held a meeting with top officials of the medical and health department to review preparations and surveillance measures regarding the new variant.
Director of public health Srinivasa Rao said no case of new variant was recorded in the country. Stating that the state is geared up to tackle any situation, he advised people not to panic but continue taking all precautionary measures.
The official said every citizen should be alert by following Covid safety measures. He said the department was closely monitoring the situation.
About the new variant, he said that no one is aware of its effect, severity or complications.
"We still don't know much about it. Whenever we receive an alert during pandemic, we have to be alert," he said, referring to the advisory of the union health ministry to all states to be on alert.
Rao pointed out that passengers at airports are being screened by conducting RT-PCR tests as part of the measures to prevent new variant from entering the country. He said the passengers testing positive are being kept in 14-day isolation and their health is being closely monitored.
The official said the state has already taken adequate measures to tackle a possible third wave. For last 4-5 months the state is recording less than 200 new cases every day and there was no discernible rise in infections during last two days.
He said with the drop in number of cases, some negligence was observed with record to vaccination and in following Covid safety measures.
"Whatever may be the variant, it's in our hands to tackle it. One should not forget wearing face mask, hand wash, maintaining social distance and taking both does of the vaccine," he said.
Director of medical education Ramesh Reddy appealed to people to be responsible citizens by taking Covid vaccines.
He said nearly 25 lakh people did not take second dose of vaccine despite completing the gap between doses.
Around 90 per cent of the 2.77 crore of targeted people have taken the first dose while 45 per cent have taken the second dose.
(With PTI inputs)