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Vikash Sharma

The Odisha health department has sprung into action following detection of Omicron Covid variant cases in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal recently.

A strict surveillance is now being kept on the incoming visitors to the State, especially on the foreign returnees from other countries. The Centre had earlier asked States to mark separate isolation facilities for all the patients infected with the Omicron variant particularly in the designated Covid treatment facilities in their respective jurisdictions.

Public Health Director, Niranjan Mishra on Thursday said designated blocks with the existing Covid facilities will be made for those who will test positive for the Omicron variant in the State. Special measures will be taken to ensure that Omicron-infected patients will not come in contact with other patients at the concerned health facilities, said Mishra.

According to Mishra, Omicron is five-times more transmissible than the Delta variant. “Omicron-infected won't be allowed to stay in home isolation. Those detected with Omicron variant will be kept in separate ward in hospitals to ensure they don't come in contact with other patients,” he said.

As per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health, all States/UTs have been asked to ensure no cross-infection takes place and adequate precautions are taken in Covid facilities.

Mishra further said that already clear instructions have been given to Collectors and Municipal Commissioners to ensure that all the advisories are duly followed. On reports of closure of Covid facilities, Mishra clarified, “All dedicated Covid hospitals are on standby mode. The facilities have been kept in such a manner they can be made functioning in a day or two.”



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