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Ians

New Covid variant Omicron is three times more transmissible than the Delta variant, the Union Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

"Based on current scientific evidence, the Variant of Concern Omicron is at least 3 times more transmissible than the Delta Variant. Besides, the Delta VOC is still present in different parts of the country. Hence, even greater foresight, data analysis, dynamic decision making and strict & prompt containment action is required at the local and district level," the ministry said in a letter to the states and UTs.

The Centre has asked states to review the emerging data of Covid-19 affected population, geographical spread, hospital infrastructure and its utilisation, manpower, notifying containment zones, and enforcement of perimeter of containment zones at the district levels. It has called for formulating a strategy that can ensure infection is contained at the local level itself before it spreads to other parts of the state.

The states have been advised that the main elements of the framework to be used should be based on the test positivity rate of 10 per cent or more in the last one week and on bed occupancy of 40 per cent or more on oxygen supported or ICU beds. The states have been asked to focus on containment, test, track, surveillance, clinical management, vaccination and Covid Appropriate Behaviour as strategic areas of intervention.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, in the letter, has asked states and UTs to activate the war rooms and keep analysing all trends and surges, no matter how small and keep taking proactive measures at the district or local level.

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