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  • ଓଡ଼ିଆରେ ପଢନ୍ତୁ
Sanjeev Kumar Patro

News Highlights

  • Maharashtra asks all districts should conduct the tests in the said proportion of  RT PCR: RAT (70:30).
  • Bhubaneswar which has been reporting cases in the range of 88-104 till December 3, has the RT-PCR to RAT proportion at 48:52 as against 70:30.
  • The State average ratio of RTPCR to RAT stood at 40:60
  • Maharashtra districts will carry out a survey on Influenza-like Illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) in the high-risk groups

With Omicron's high transmissibility having been proven in the origin country of South Africa, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) today warned of a massive third wave striking the country unless adequate measures were carried out.

Meanwhile, the number of Omicron positives in the country has touched 23. And Maharashtra topped the list with 10 cases. Maharashtra has been the country's top hotspot in both the pandemic waves. The state has detected 10 omicron cases in the last 7-days. Cases may spiral up as nearly 320 low and high-risk contacts of two patients have been identified.  

In the backdrop of high volatility, the Maharashtra Health Department has only on Tuesday issued a set of Covid protocols to all its districts on Monday. And the guidelines drop a big hint about what the State is fearing of?

Maharashtra Fears Omicron Community Transmission?

The new guidelines issued by the Maharashtra government tell a big tale. Issuing a set of protocols to all its District Health Officers in the Zilla Parishads, District Civil Surgeons in the District Hospitals and Executive Health Officer of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, the Maharashtra Health Department has asked the nodal health officers to initiate immediate public health measures in the background of Omicron cases.

Emphasising enhanced surveillance, Maharashtra has listed out the following public health measures in every district.

  • It asks for a proactive search of cluster cases or breakthrough infection cases or
    re-infection cases or any uncommon symptoms cases
  • And the above cases have to be subjected to RT-PCR tests.
  • On detection of positives, all the samples have to be sent mandatorily for genome
    sequencing.
  • All positive cases (cluster, breakthrough or re-infection) need to be sent to dedicated
    COVID facility for management.
  • All the high risk & low-risk contacts of these cases are tested for the RT-PCR test.
  • Each district has to carry out a survey on Influenza-like Illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) in the high-risk groups (means health care workers, frontline workers, senior citizens and immuno-compromised individuals).
  • The fever clinic needs to be reactivated to screen ILI/SARI cases from the community.
  • All district administrations need to focus on ramping up the testing capacity in the
    districts.
  • A minimum of 140 tests per million per day needs to be done.
  • All districts should conduct the tests in the said proportion of  RT PCR: RAT (70:30).

Key Pointers In Maha Guidelines

The Maharashtra govt is launching a search of cluster, breakthrough and re-infection cases to isolate the Omicron variant at the earliest.

Along with the findings from South Africa, the UK, the US and Euro countries, the Maharashtra Health Department has found that the majority of Omicron infected are fully vaccinated. The case detected in Mumbai shows that the individual had taken two doses of Pfizer's m-RNA vaccine.

Moreover, in some cases, re-infections have also come to the fore. Also, as the Europe and South Africa data reveal explosive transmissibility, the state of Maharashtra has put its focus on cluster cases to contain community transmission.

Odisha Current Scenario

  • As of today, the Odisha government is not conducting any such pro-active searches of clusters, breakthroughs and re-infection cases.
  • Bhubaneswar which has been reporting cases in the range of 88-104 till December 3, has the RT-PCR to RAT proportion at 48:52 as against 70:30.
  • The State average ratio of RTPCR to RAT stood at 40:60
  • The WHO has also recently advocated for RTPCR (TaqPath) tests to immediately detect the spread of Omicron.
  • No directions passed as of date to conduct a survey on Influenza-like Illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) in the high-risk groups.
  • As of date, no fever clinics in the districts to screen ILI/SARI cases from the community.

The Bottomline

The time is ripe for the Odisha Health Department to take a leaf out of the Maharashtra Covid-19 Omicron protocol to pre-empt the third wave strike.

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