Mrunal Manmay Dash

Amid rumours of an Omicron infected person having reached Cuttack from a foreign destination, the district administration has been asked to carry out a probe to find the details.

Allying fears that followed the rumours about the infected returnee, Public Health Director, Niranjan Mishra said, "We have no evidence related to this, but the district administration has been asked to submit details."

Mishra’s clarification came during an interaction with the media about Odisha’s preparedness to deal with the possible threats of a third wave induced by the Omicron variant of Covid 19, on Saturday.

“The State is ready to deal with the Omicron variant induced third wave,” he said.

“Looking at the rapidly rising cases in Britain and other European countries, it is very likely that Odisha may face the third wave of COVID. However, we are ready to deal with the situation,” Mishra said.

He said more than 1500 people from 'at risk' countries have arrived in Odisha so far. “We are capable of handling Omicron. Preparations are on and regular reviews of necessary infrastructure are being carried out,” he added.

Earlier on Thursday, Mishra had said dedicated blocks within the existing Covid facilities will be made available for those who test positive for the Omicron variant in the State. Special measures will be taken to ensure that the Omicron-infected patients do not come in contact with others at the designated health facilities.

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