Mrunal Manmay Dash

As the new COVID variant BF.7 has been detected in Odisha, the State braces up for another possible duel with the virus.

As per reports, three cases of Omicron subvariant BF.7, apparently the strain driving China's current surge of Covid cases, have been detected in India so far, including one in Odisha, forcing the State to make robust arrangements for genome sequencing to detect the subvariant.

Speaking to the reporters, Odisha Health Services Director, Dr Bijay Mohapatra said, “We have enough facilities for testing Covid, and sufficient arrangements have been made for genome sequencing for now. If needed, we can increase the facilities too.”

Mohapatra urged all to get their Covid test done as soon as they find symptoms in them. "As the infection rate in Odisha is at its lowest, so we do not need to panic as of now," he said.

In the Covid review meeting chaired by Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday, experts said although there is no overall increase in Covid caseload as of now, there is a need for continued surveillance to keep a track of existing and emerging variants.

Meanwhile, China has become the Covid hotspot of the world with lakhs of people getting infected every day. Apart from China, Japan, US, Brazil and South Korea are currently witnessing a higher Covid infection trend.

As per the latest World health Organisation (WHO) report, more than 35 lakh Covid positives are being reported every week in the world.

Dr Randeep Guleria, Chairman, IIMR said, "We are now in a far better position than earlier. But we still need to remain cautious and vigilant."

(Reported By Jagdish Das, OTV)