Telangana

Telangana steps up surveillance at airports

The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad. File   | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal

It has been a few months after second wave of coronavirus has subsided that people in Telangana started to take deep breaths and started to lead normal lives. But Omicron has forced officials to increase surveillance measures to detect positive cases and the variant.

Tests will be conducted on people who come to the State from the countries where Omicron-the new variant is detected. The State’s Director of Public Health Dr G Srinivasa Rao said that the variant was detected in Botswana, Hong Kong, South Africa and some European countries.

“Those who are fully vaccinated will be quarantined at home and monitored. Tests will be conducted on those who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated. Samples will be sent for genome sequencing if any one tested positive to know presence of the variant,” said Dr Srinivasa.

The State’s Health Minister T Harish Rao reviewed preparations, surveillance measures, and other aspects regarding Omicron on Sunday. Later, Dr Rao and Director of Medical Education (DME) Dr K Ramesh Reddy addressed a press conference held in Hyderabad on Sunday afternoon.

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Dr Rao said that the variant is not detected in our country or in the State. There are no records of it. The DME Dr Ramesh Reddy said that no one is aware about the effect, severity, complications caused by Omicron, and we still have to know about it.

He said that the variant of the virus can make its way into our country through people who come from foreign countries and that surveillance at airports has been strengthened. Since people might contract the variant of the virus during travel, Dr Ramesh has suggested people coming from foreign countries to undergo tests if they have any symptoms.

25 lakh people skipped 2nd dose

Precautions such as mask usage, sanitizing hands, avoiding large scale gatherings were stressed. The latter came into focus as people have resumed normal life, have been attending marriages, receptions, and other celebrations where a huge number of people gather.

Also read: Omicron variant | South African passengers need to quarantine upon arrival in Mumbai

Besides the non-pharmacological measures, people were urged to undergo vaccination against Coronavirus. Out of the 2.77 crore people in the State who are eligible for vaccination, around 90% took the first dose and 45% took the second dose.

However, nearly 25 lakh people have skipped taking the second dose after completing the due date. They were urged to take the jab.

“Scientists and vaccine manufacturers have declared that currently available COVID vaccines provide full protection against Omicron,” said Dr Rao.


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Printable version | Jan 27, 2022 8:58:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/telangana-steps-up-surveillance-at-airport/article37737652.ece

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