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Pradeep Pattanayak

At a time when there is a growing concern over Omicron, the Odisha government on Saturday asked the Centre to provide a portal so that the contract tracing can be carried out effectively. 

Since contract tracing plays a vital role in Covid management and interrupting the chain of transmission, Odisha Health Minister Naba Kishore Das on Saturday told reporters that Odisha has asked the Centre to provide a portal for effective contract tracing. 

At the same time, he urged the people of the State not to panic since the vaccines they have received are working against the new variant. “According to the doctors at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the vaccines are working well against Omicron. So there is no reason to fear. The guidelines prescribed by the Central government are being followed strictly,” Das added. 

“The government is well prepared to face the current situation. Fliers coming from foreign countries to the State have been asked to provide their travel information to the government. They have been under close observation. In order to isolate them, special quarantine centres have also been set up. Besides, necessary steps have already been taken to ensure the virus does not spread in educational institutions,” he further added. 

Similarly, Director of Medical Education and Training (DMET) Dr Rama Raman Mohanty said they were yet to receive any report to suggest that the new variant would cause a third wave.  

At the same time, School and Mass Education Minister Samir Das said, “Since we are faced with a new threat, we have not left any stone unturned to ensure safety of the children. Our nodal officers deployed in the districts are in contact with the district administrations and monitoring the situation on a daily basis. Educational institutions have been regularly inspected to ensure strict adherence of Covid guidelines. If symptomatic cases are reported from any school, the district administrations have been asked to send medical teams to these institutions on a priority basis. However, I believe nothing of that sort would happen and the fears may not come true.”

Regarding the preparedness, a teacher of Govt Boys’ High School Bibhashini Das said they have taken all precautions to avoid the spread of the disease in the school. “We have huge stock of sanitiser and make it a point to see the students should follow all the guidelines like mask wearing and distance maintaining inside the institution,” she added. 

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