Cassian Baliarsingh

Amid the BF.7 Omicron variant-driven Covid surge in China, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will chair a high-level meeting to review the Covid situation in the state tomorrow at 4:30 pm.

The meeting comes a few days after Centre urged states to be ready to tackle the new variant. Many senior officials including the health minister, and health secretary are expected to be present at the meeting.

Similarly, Chief District Medical Officers and senior authorities of medical colleges have been directed to attend the meeting. The meeting will focus mainly on the guidelines, steps need to be taken to put a check on the transmissible virus, need for continued surveillance and the availability of enough oxygen and bed facilities in all hospitals.

The CM is likely to advise all the Collectors, district Chief Medical Officers and heads of healthcare institutions to strengthen surveillance and increase genome sequencing for Omicron management.

Furthermore, stress will be given on testing, tracking, treating, contact tracing, vaccination and Covid-19 appropriate behaviour for timely detection of the virus.

Earlier, the Odisha government had issued a fresh advisory urging people to follow Covid protocols after Centre directed States to be alert. The state government has already asked to conduct mock drills in hospitals to check preparedness.

Odisha Health Director Bijay Mohapatra said that there is no need to panic. He said that there is no severity of the disease or fatality and there is no dearth of drugs, hospital beds or any other infrastructure in the state.

Notably, the first case of Omicron subvariant BF.7 was detected in Odisha on September 30. The woman from Khordha district had done her test before her travel to the US. She and her family have been there since October, but all of them are asymptomatic and don’t have any flu-like symptoms since their departure from India.