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Pradeep Pattanayak

Odisha districts sharing their borders with Andhra Pradesh are on focus since the neighbouring state has already reported an Omicron case, informed Health Director Bijay Mohapatra.

While speaking to journalists in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday, Mohapatra said the genome sequencing reports of the four persons who returned to Odisha from at-risk countries have come out as negative for Omicron. But the samples are still being studied at the Institute of Life Sciences and anything more about these returnees can only be said after receiving the final reports. 

Informing about the preparedness to check the spread of the new variant of coronavirus, Mohapatra said the State, following the direction of the World Health Organisation (WHO), is giving priority to surveillance and vaccination. 

"We are on the job of vaccinating more and more eligible people. Similarly, we have stepped up the surveillance. The district administrations of the alerted districts are keeping a close watch on migrants returning from the neighbouring states.  The focus is laid out on finding out if they are symptomatic. In case anyone has symptoms, we are following the directions issued by the Central government," Mohapatra said, adding that genome sequencing of the samples is also going on. 

"It doesn't matter whether this new variant is fatal or not, but we should not lower our guard against it. We have to be careful," advised Mohapatra.
 

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