Odisha hikes surveillance amid fears of new variant of Covid-19

On Friday, 26 girl students of Chamakpur residential school under Thakurmunda block in Mayurbhanj district had tested positive for Covid-19 after a majority of them showed symptoms of cold and cough.
Odisha health department officials said authorities have been asked to ensure that those who show symptoms should not be allowed in schools and other institutions as per the SOP issued. (HT PHOTO.)
Odisha health department officials said authorities have been asked to ensure that those who show symptoms should not be allowed in schools and other institutions as per the SOP issued. (HT PHOTO.)
Updated on Nov 27, 2021 11:57 PM IST
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ByDebabrata Mohanty

With WHO designating the new strain of SARS-CoV-2 virus (B.1.1.529) as a ‘Variant of Concern’, the Odisha government on Saturday asked district collectors to intensify surveillance, especially for those coming from foreign countries as isolated clusters of infections were reported from schools and colleges in the state.

Director, Public Health, Niranjan Mishra said that following the Centre’s advisory for screening of passengers coming from countries where the new Covid-19 variant Omicron was detected, the state government has asked all district collectors, Municipal Commissioners to begin surveillance and testing of all passengers arriving in the state.

“Those who test positive will be isolated and their samples will be sent for genome sequencing as per the protocol,” said Mishra.

Officials said of the 56 MBSS students of VIMSAR medical college in Sambalpur who were infected with Covid-19 this week, swab samples of 21 students would be sent to Bhubaneswar for genome sequencing to find out why they got infected. VIMSAR Superintendent Professor Lalmohan Nayak said most of the students had taken the second dose of vaccination for Covid-19. “We wonder how so many students got infected despite being fully vaccinated,” he said.

On Friday, 26 girl students of Chamakpur residential school under Thakurmunda block in Mayurbhanj district had tested positive for Covid-19 after a majority of them showed symptoms of cold and cough. Swab samples of 15 other students have been sent to Baripada District Headquarters Hospital for testing. On November 23, at least 53 students of a girls’ high school in Sundargarh district had tested positive for Covid-19.

Health department officials said authorities have been asked to ensure that those who show symptoms should not be allowed in schools as per the SOP issued.

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Thursday, January 20, 2022