Vikash Sharma

A day after Odisha reported a steep rise in Omicron infection after 23 new cases were found on Sunday, the Health Department on Monday swung into action and took review of the State’s preparedness to deal with the emerging threats posed by the new Covid-19 variant of concern.

After reviewing the arrangements, State Health and Family Welfare Minister, Naba Das said that there will be no shortage of oxygen in the State while dealing with the cases. During the second wave of Covid-19, Odisha government not only managed to ensure round-the-clock of medical oxygen but also assisted 18 other States who were facing oxygen shortage during the crisis situation, he said.

Das further informed that the State government has made provision of over 1,000 beds for children, including 937 general beds and 242 ICU beds, and 110 ventilators across the State.

According to the State Health Minister, Odisha registered 10,000 to 12,000 Covid-19 cases during the peak of second wave. The State is fully prepared even if the cases due to Omicron exceed the second wave infection, he said.

“Odisha is fully prepared to deal with the Omicron variant which is more transmissible than its previous variants. We have made adequate provision of beds for the children and instructions have been issued to district Collectors and Municipal Commissioners to monitor the situation. The number of beds and other infrastructure will be increased depending on emergency situations,” said Das.

At present, focus is begin given on surveillance through genome sequencing which is being conducted at the Institute of Life Sciences (ILS) in Bhubaneswar. Steps are being taken to make provision for the genome sequencing of RT-PCR samples in other facilities of the State as well, the Minster added.

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