Amid Omicron threat, 246 samples from various districts of Odisha were sent to Institute of Life Sciences (ILS), Bhubaneswar for genome sequencing, an official said on Monday.
"We have received 246 samples from different districts including few foreign returnees for genome sequencing to ascertain the presence of Omicron variant. All these persons have been found to be Covid positive during the RT-CPR test. The results will be known by Friday," said director, ILS, Ajay Parida here today.
Earlier, genome sequencing of 141 samples were done. However fortunately, not a single case found to be Omicron variant, he said, adding, the Odisha government has taken proactive measures for testing and tracking.
As per protocol, Parida said, another round of RT-PCR test of the samples will be conducted before carrying out the genome sequencing. The samples whose CT value is less than 28 will be picked for genome sequencing, he said.
Odisha health minister Naba Kishore Das said there is no need to panic and the state government is closely monitoring the situation. "The WHO is conducting a study on the new variant and very soon it will be known how effective our vaccines are against the new variant," Das said.
According to sources, over 800 persons from the foreign countries that were placed in the 'at-risk' countries have been returned to the state since the detection of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
Meanwhile, state health department officials informed that about 320 returnees, nearly 40 per cent of the total arrivals, are untraceable. As these returnees have submitted wrong addresses and contact information in Air Suvidha portal, the government is unable to trace them, the officials said.
State public health director Niranjan Mishra said, "The information we are getting from the Centre on foreign returnees, sharing with the district administrations and accordingly testing and tracing are being conducted."
He appealed to the people who have returned from at-risk countries to undergo RT-PCT test for the safety of their families and well beings.
( 349 Words)