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Pradeep Singh

Odisha Health Director Bijay Mohapatra on Saturday said that the Delta variant which fuelled the deadly second wave of Covid-19 still exists in the State along with the highly contagious Omicron variant and it accounts for around 25 to 30 per cent of cases.

“A few days ago, a sample survey was conducted in which we found presence of the Delta variant in 25-30 per cent positive cases. It means, both Delta and Omicron variants are active in Odisha,” said Mohapatra. 

“As the severity of Delta variant is more, the threat is not over yet even though the Covid-19 situation in Odisha is definitely improving and the positivity rate is declining with each passing day. And, therefore, we need to continue to follow Covid appropriate behaviour,” he said. 

On NeoCov, which has been discovered in a bat population in South Africa, the Health Director says, "It will be early to say anything. The variant has so far found in birds only. WHO has said that there is no data of transmission of the variant from birds to humans. So, we need to wait for the opinion of the international experts.”

Speaking on possible relaxation in restrictions, Mohapatra said, “We will provide technical inputs as to where the positivity rate is increasing or decreasing, and where restrictions are needed. But the final decision will be taken by the government.”

The State government will take a call on restrictions in February after analysing all the information, the Health Director added, while appealing people once again to get Covid-19 jabs, if not taken yet.

Odisha on Saturday witnessed a significant drop in the number of daily Covid-19 infections with the single-day tally slipping below 5,000 mark on Saturday. The State logged 4,842 new infections today, taking the cumulative positive tally to 12,41,068.

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