Omicron Variant Threat: Centre Asks States to Ramp Up Testing, Vaccination, Monitor Hotspots

The Centre also asked states to enforce intensive containment and active surveillance measures.

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New Delhi: Amid the possible threat of a fresh wave of infections due to the new COVID-19 variant Omicron which was identified in South Africa recently, the Centre has written to all states and Union Territories asking them to ramp up testing and increase the coverage of vaccination. The Centre also asked states to enforce intensive containment and active surveillance measures.

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"It is imperative that intensive containment, active surveillance, increased coverage of vaccination and Covid-appropriate behaviour be enforced in a very proactive measure to effectively manage this variant of concern," Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said in the statement on Sunday.

"Ample testing infrastructure need to be operationalised to tackle any surge due to this mutated virus. It has been observed that the overall testing, as well as the proportion of RT-PCR tests, have declined in some states. In the absence of sufficient testing, it is extremely difficult to determine the true level of infection spread," the Health Ministry said.

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The Centre added, "Having adequate availability of health facilities across the state is essential to ensure there are no delays in providing care... States are requested to optimally use financial support provided by the government."

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India has put countries where the Omicron variant of concern has been found in the category of "at-risk" countries for additional follow-up measures of travellers coming to India.

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Published Date:November 28, 2021 3:03 PM IST

Updated Date:November 28, 2021 3:06 PM IST