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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

As many as 982 persons from eight different foreign countries designated 'at-risk' from Omicron variant of Covid-19 have returned to Odisha and as many as four persons from them have tested Covid positive, State Public Health Director Niranjan Mishra said on Tuesday.

“The samples from the foreign returnees have been sent for genome sequencing to trace if they are infected with the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 but there is no need to press the panic button,” said Mishra.

While earlier media reports quoted that several foreign returnees to the State had gone incommunicado, the state's top doctor clarified today that no incoming people to the State is on the run. 

“However, some of them are not picking phones and in a bid to trace them, our health workers are visiting different villages. The State government is fully ready to deal with any kind of eventualities in case a third wave of the pandemic breaks out,” said the top health official.

“The State administration has learnt a lot from the first and second wave of the pandemic. Based on these experiences, the Health Department is ready to meet any kind of exigencies,” he said.

Meanwhile, Health Director Bijay Mohapatra informed that the four positive foreign returnees are all asymptomatic.

“We have to be careful in the technical and community sector as far as Omicron variant of Covid-19 is concerned. Children are more at risk due to the new variant and necessary paediatric management has been made at various hospitals across the State,” said Mohapatra.

“We are extending ICU facilities in more number of hospitals and health workers are being imparted better training for the effective healthcare management,” he added.

(Edited by Suryakant Jena)

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