TN intensify steps to stop Omicron

Chennai: While maintaining that there is not even a single case of Omicron, the latest variant of coronavirus in the State so far, sources in the Tamilnadu government said steps have been intensified to prevent its entry.

They insisted that surveillance has been stepped up across the airports to prevent its spread. State Chief Secretary V Irai Anbu held a review meeting with District Collectors and other top officials and urged them to ensure all precautionary measures to prevent the spread of Omicron, declared as a Variant of Concern by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

In a letter to the district officials shared with the media, state Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said it was significantly more transmissible than the Delta variant.

Radhakrishnan further mentioned that the Union Health Secretary wrote to him about the reports of emergence of a new variant and directed the states to be alert.

District Collectors were apprised about the instructions while field level inspections were carried out at the Chennai airport by Health Minister and senior department officials.

A release said incoming travelers from South Africa, where Omicron was first detected, and European countries, including the UK, besides Botswana, China and Israel, should compulsorily undergo the RT-PCR test and that they would be allowed to go home only if tested negative for the virus. ‘Omicron mutated coronavirus has not been detected in Tamilnadu so far,’ the release said.

Meanwhile, Health Minister M Subramanian said that in the wake of the emergence of the Omicron variant, ‘cluster areas’ were being monitored closely and samples being made to undergo Whole Genome Sequencing. All these tests have only returned Delta variant cases, he told reporters in Chennai.


NT Bureau