Bihar govt directs officials to conduct genome study, increase vaccination to tackle new Covid variant
In wake of the emergence of the new Covid-19 variant ‘Omnicron’, the Bihar government on Sunday directed health officials to conduct genome surveillance of all Covid positive samples to ascertain the strain of the virus.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar during a review meeting of the health department on Sunday directed officials to be alert and ensure that there is adequate stocks of medicines and health facilities at the hospitals.
The chief minister also stressed that people who have returned from abroad should be monitored and those who have tested positive should be screened for the new variant. Kumar who also reviewed the ongoing vaccination programme against Covid-19 laid stress on accelerating the vaccination drive and directed officials to use all modes of publicity to encourage people who have taken the 1st dose to inoculate themselves with the 2nd dose as well. “There should be state level monitoring of those districts where the vaccination drive and testing is slow. There should not be any laxity on testing and vaccination drive should be widely publicised ,” the CM said. Till Sunday, Bihar has inoculated 80 million citizens, according to officials.
During the meeting, Bihar representative of World Health Organisation ( WHO) Dr Subramaniyam apprised the CM about the new Covid variant ‘Omicron’ and its various aspects. Additional chief secretary (health) Prataya Amrit said the health department is on high alert to tackle the new variant.
Health minister Mangal Pandey, while talking to mediapersons on Sunday, said, “Though there has been no positive cases of the new variant in the country so far, the health department is on high alert and directives have been issued to health officials to maintain tight vigil while conducting RT-PCR tests to detect any strain of the new variant so that immediate steps can be taken”.
Asked about the central government’s directives to conduct tests of around 281 persons who have arrived from foreign countries in last two months in Bihar, the health minister said the health officials have started visiting residences of the persons mentioned in the list.
“ Health officials have started visiting the persons mentioned in the list who have returned from abroad. There are instances where people have their address in Bihar but live in different parts of the country. So, we will tests of all those people staying in Bihar ,” the minister said, who also attended the review meeting of health department along with the CM.
Mumbai: Environmentalists and concerned residents of Thane have raised alarm over the construction of 20 commercial bungalows in Yeoor village, which lies within the notified eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) of Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), where development activities are restricted. The bungalows, Hindustan Times has learnt, are being developed by Thane Municipal Corporation corporator Hanmant Jagdale, who was awarded a commencement certificate for the project in April last year. Activists, however, termed these constructions as illegal.
Senior Congress leader Harish Rawat on Thursday staged a nearly hour-long sit-in on the national highway in Haldwani to protest the condition of the road that he said was claiming lives of a number of people as the government remained a mute spectator. Rawat also promised to continue his protests over such issues in future too. Rawat has been aggressively campaigning for the bypolls for which the Congress has fielded Nirmala Gehtori as its candidate.
Thane A 64-year-old man was killed and three others suffered injuries after a speeding car collided with a cab ferrying two passengers near Manas petrol pump in Mankoli village in Bhiwandi on Wednesday. The deceased Iqaram has been identified as Iqaram Nishan Ahmad, 64, and the injured as Ashfaque Ishaque Shaikh, 35, Majid Mustaque Qureshi, 38 and Jitesh Joshi, 28, all residents of Bhiwandi.
Navi Mumbai: Following the arrest of a 25-year-old auto-rickshaw driver Jayant Suresh Kolkhekar on Tuesday night from Panvel for allegedly killing a 33-year-old woman Reshma Sachin Garude, the probe revealed that the accused had purchased a sim card in the name of the deceased to avoid getting caught. The phone, however, led the police to him. Kolkhekar used to ride the rickshaw, owned by the deceased, a mother of two girls.
The West Bengal cabinet on Thursday decided to table a bill in the state assembly to replace the governor with the chief minister as chancellor of all state-run universities, education minister Bratya Basu said, a move that is seen as a fallout of the long-running battle between chief minister Mamata Banerjee and governor Jagdeep Dhankhar. There has been no reaction from Raj Bhawan to the decision.