Omicron tally rises to eight in Telangana

Seven of the infected are Hyderabad residents

December 17, 2021 09:47 pm | Updated 09:47 pm IST - HYDERABAD

At a time when the pandemic seemed to be under control in Telangana, the State has been getting Omicron cases from abroad and its tally went up to eight on Friday.

The infected persons came from Kenya (3), Abu Dhabi (2) and Dubai, Sudan and the UK (1 each). Two of them were from `at risk’ countries and six from `not at risk’ countries. One more boy who was on a transit halt at Hyderabad international airport tested positive but the result of genome sequencing was known after he had left for Kolkata.

Of the eight infected persons in the State, seven were from in and around Tolichowki in Hyderabad and one woman from Hanamkonda. She tested negative on arrival from the UK but confirmed as positive case by the result of genome sequencing on Thursday evening.

Giving these details at a press conference today, Director of Public Health G. Srinivasa Rao said there was no cause for concern at this stage as all positive cases were asymptomatic. There was reason for concern if the infected persons carried symptoms of fever or flu.

He, however, warned that Omicron variant had the potential of spreading two to six times faster than COVID-19 with mild symptoms.

Dr. Rao explained that screening at Hyderabad airport was stepped up since December 1 after outbreak of Omicron cases were reported . So far, as many as 6,764 passengers from `at risk’ countries were screened. Only two per cent of total passengers in a flight from `not at risk’ countries were tested as per laid down norms.

He described Omicron as an offshoot of COVID whose diagnosis and treatment protocols were the same. They carried the same symptoms. The State was well on way to getting rid of COVID in a few months as 97% of the population was vaccinated for first dose and 56 % for the second. Vaccination of 28 lakh people who were due for second dose will be completed by month-end.

He rejected imposition of lockdown or other restrictions in view of the latest threat and said the government was fully geared up to meet the situation.

Twenty one persons who came in contact with Omicron positive patients were identified and quarantined. The government was trying to fix lower charges for rapid RTPCR tests at the airport in view of complaints that the airport was collecting ₹3,400 each.

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