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Vikash Sharma

Omicron cases are fast rising in different parts of the country, forcing the Centre to direct States/UTs to ramp up measures in view of the upcoming Christmas and New Year festivities.

“However, two studies have stated that Omicron’s effect may not be as severe,” said Bijay Mohapatra,  Director, Health Services adding that the findings have come as a relief.  “Though it is certainly reassuring, everybody should remain alert and not lower guard against

Covid-19 as we are still unaware about the sample size of the studies,” he added.

Mohapatra said that all protective measures need to be followed to deal with the emerging situation. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 23 chaired a high-level review meeting to assess the COVID-19 situation and stressed on surveillance, testing and strict observance of Covid appropriate behaviour.

“The people of Odisha have co-operated the government during the first and second wave of Covid-19. People should continue follow Covid appropriate behaviour including wearing of masks, maintaining hand hygiene and other aspects,” said Mohapatra while urging people to avoid large congregations and gatherings.

Family and Welfare director Bijay Panigrahi today said that as part of the previous directive issued by the State government, focus is also being laid on speeding up the vaccination drive, apart from focusing on surveillance, genome sequencing and testing.

Panigrahi said already door-to-door vaccination drive is going on in full swing across the State. 4.82 crore doses, including 2.88 crore first doses have already been administered to the beneficiaries. 

“Around 89 percent eligible people have taken the first jab while 60 percent have taken both the doses of Covid-19 vaccines.  The State government has set a target to achieve 100 per cent inoculation by January 15, 2022,” said Panigrahi.

According to Panigrahi, around 37lakh eligible population has not taken a single dose and priority is given to ensure that such people are administered with the first dose of the vaccine. Similarly, around 31 lakh people have not taken their second dose and process is on to identity them, he said.

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