Bhopal: The Madhya Pradesh government on Monday informed that the state has increased the watch at the borders and is taking various precautionary measures amid the rising concerns over the new covid variant, Omicron. Madhya Pradesh shares its border with five states, and the Omicron variant of Covid-19 has been detected in three of them – Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Gujarat.Also Read - Omicron Infected Have Significant Immune Response, Can Neutralise Delta Variant: ICMR Study

Mishra also said 17 new Covid-19 cases have been found in MP during the past 24 hours, including six in Indore and eight in the state capital Bhopal. Also Read - Will Schools in Delhi Reopen as COVID Cases Decline? Sisodia to Discuss Matter With DDMA Today

“Following cases of Omicron in neighbouring states, we are increasing the watch at Madhya Pradesh borders and taking precautions with utmost concern,” said Mishra, who is the state government’s spokesman. Also Read - COVID Restrictions in These 10 States of India For Domestic Travellers, Read On

“All necessary steps have been taken, resources are arranged and all the requirements will be fulfilled to prevent the third wave. The state has more than required medical oxygen and an adequate number of plants of the life-saving gas have been started,” the minister added.

More than nine crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Madhya Pradesh since the process started in mid-January this year, a senior official said on Monday. As per the CoWin portal, 9,03,96,161 doses have been administered in the state, with 5,13,86,375 being given the first dose and 3,90,09,786 getting both jabs.

He said vaccination was being carried out at 9,495 sites, of which a dominant 9,476 are government ones.

Hailing the efforts of the health staff and the people of the state in making the drive a success, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan asked eligible beneficiaries to get vaccinated as soon as possible to prevent a third wave and also safeguard against new variants.

He asked officials to deal with the new Omicron variant by adopting a people’s participation model and also appealed to citizens to adhere to pandemic protocols, like wearing masks and maintaining social distancing, strictly.