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Sharmili Mallick

Even as eight cases of highly contagious Omicron variant of SARS‑CoV‑2 have been detected in Odisha, State’s Public Health Director, Dr Niranjan Mishra on Monday said there is no need to enforce curbs like night curfew and lockdown in the State as the situation here is better than other states.

Briefing media in Bhubaneswar Mishra said, “The situation in the State is better in comparison to other States right now. There is no need to impose night curfew or lockdown here."

“Night curfew or lockdown is clamped keeping in mind several factors, including overall infection rate, Test Positivity Rate (TPR), total active cases, daily infection rate and hospitalisation rate,” noted Mishra.

Worth mentioning here the Union Health Ministry had earlier asked States to impose restrictions such as night curfews and declare containment zones if districts either have a 10 percent positivity rate or occupancy in oxygen-supported or Intensive Care Units rises to 40 percent.

Public Health Director also shared details of the Omicron cases detected in the State so far. He said, “The Omicron variant cases are increasing across the country, including Odisha. A total of 18 international passengers were found positive for Covid-19 through RT-PCR tests. The samples of the all the positive passengers were sent for genome sequencing. Out of them, eight were found infected with Omicron variant while the rest were tested negative for the new variant.”

“The health condition of all the Omicron infected passengers is stable and most of them were asymptomatic or had mild symptoms. Their families have been tracked and their samples have been sent for examination,” the top health official said.

Mishra further stated, “The passengers board flight after testing negative or after getting vaccinated. This means that flyers are getting infected during their travel.”

Meanwhile, various state governments have announced curbs to stem the worsening situation due to the Omicron variant. The night curfew has been imposed in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Delhi, Karnataka, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.

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