Omicron: Screening of international passengers begins at Calicut airport

There is a rise in the number of people coming for vaccination in Kozhikode district in the wake of the discovery of the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2. Above, a scene from the Tagore Centenary Hall on Monday.    | Photo Credit: K Ragesh

Screening of international passengers from 12 countries has begun at the Calicut International Airport in the wake of the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 being designated as a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organisation, Kozhikode District Medical Officer Ummer Farooq has said.

He told the media on Monday that those found positive would be isolated and others who are negative would be quarantined for a week. Positive patients would be tested again after eight days and if they are found to be negative, they would have to be isolated for another week. If the positive patients turn out to test positive again, they would be put in institutional quarantine. Another test would be conducted on the 14th day again. Body fluid samples of infected persons would be sent for genome sequencing to the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnlogy, Thiruvananthapuram. The screening at the airport is done by the DMO office, Malappuram.

Vaccination campaign

Dr. Farooq said that the Health Department in Kozhikode was also intensifying the vaccination campaign. Of the 24.99 lakh targeted population who are aged 18 or above, 23.78 lakh had taken the first dose, a coverage of 95.15%. As many as 14.52 lakh people have taken both the doses, and the coverage is 61.08%, he said. Asked about the unvaccinated population, Dr. Farooq said that some people had cited health issues and religious beliefs for not taking the jab.

There had been a delay in releasing the results of the RT-PCR tests in the district because of the staff shortage in designated labs. Those vacant posts had been filled and the results would soon be available. Steps are being taken to restart mobile vaccination units as well, he added.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2022 9:38:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/omicron-screening-of-international-passengers-begins-at-calicut-airport/article37755295.ece

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