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Vikash Sharma

Amid the growing concerns over Omicron, the new Covid-19 variant of concern, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday appealed to the people of the State to strictly follow Covid appropriate behaviour. Patnaik’s appeal came a day after Odisha has reported its first two cases of the Omicron infection on Tuesday.

While one of the patients who tested positive for Omicron had returned from Nigeria, the other is an arrival from Qatar.

“Infections are rising due to the new Covid variant Omicron. We have to stay alert as the new variant is spreading very fast,” said Patnaik.

The Chief Minister also urged the people of the State to wear masks and practice regular hand hygiene. “Unnecessary travel should be avoided. In the past, we got adequate support from the people to combat any emergency situation. We can and we will fight this wave with cooperation of everybody,” Patnaik added.



As per the government data, since November, 8800 people have returned to Odisha from various foreign countries including 1600 from at-risk nations. Covid positive sample of 12 foreign returnees were sent for genome sequencing of which two came positive for Omicron. Both the affected persons have returned from ‘non at-risk countries', said a senior health official. 21 persons who had come in close contact with the infected persons have been identified so far.

Moreover, in the State Capital city of Bhubaneswar, the civic authorities declared containment zone in Bomikhal on Tuesday night after two persons, sharing neighbourhood, were found Covid positive. Meanwhile, 183 new Covid-19 cases were reported from different parts of the State in the past 24 hours. Of the new cases, 30 cases were in the age group of 0 to 18 years.

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