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Vikash Sharma

Amid the rising fear over the detection of Omicron, the new SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.529 - dubbed as a 'variant of concern' by WHO, the Odisha Government has decided to put strict lens on people coming from outside, especially the international travellers.

Cases of the new variants have been detected in the last one week in countries like Botswana, South Africa, Hong Kong and Israel.

As per the guidelines issued by the Odisha Health department, testing, quarantine and genome sequencing will be mandatory for those coming from outside, particularly from other foreign countries. Health Services Director Bijay Mohapatra on Sunday said that clear instructions have already been given to monitor people coming from outside along with intensive testing to prevent outbreak of the Covid-19 variant Omicron.

“These guidelines have been issued as per the instructions of the Centre. Earlier, we had screened those coming from other foreign countries during the first and second wave of Covid-19,” said Mohapatra.

According to Mohapatra, community surveillance and awareness measures need to be ramped up as they will play a crucial role in tracking down contacts of positive cases.

“Several measures are still continuing across the State as per protocol to check the spread of the Covid-19. People also need to exerecise more caution and ensure that they follow appropriate Covid behaviour as well,” Mohapatra added.

It is pertinent to mention here that Odisha reported 191 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours. Khordha district reported maximum 87 cases, followed by 13 new cases each from Cuttack and Sundergarh district.

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