BHUBANESWAR: In the midst of growing fear over super mutant Omicron across the globe, Odisha government on Friday confirmed that not a single case of the new variant has been detected in the State so far.
Of the 246 Covid positive samples sent to Institute of Life Sciences (ILS), Bhubaneswar, Omicron has not been been found in any. Sequencing was also conducted on samples of four returnees from countries ‘at risk’, who had tested positive after arrival here. They were detected with B.1.617.2 and AY.44 lineage of Delta variant.
Sources said the samples sent to ILS for genome sequencing were from 13 districts, including the recent clusters at educational institutions in Sundargarh, Sambalpur and Mayurbhanj apart from the foreign returnees. “Delta and its sub-lineages continue to dominate the samples and there is no new variant,” said the sources.
Director of Public Health Dr Niranjan Mishra said 1,286 foreign returnees registered their names in the Air Suvidha portal. “Majority among them belonged to Khurda, Cuttack, Ganjam, Angul and Jajpur. There is no reason to panic as thankfully, no foreign returnee has been found with Omicron,” he said.
However, around 40 per cent (pc) of the foreign returnees have gone incommunicado after arriving in the State. The districts have been asked to trace them with the help of police.
Meanwhile, Odisha reported a 47 pc spike in new infections on Friday, reporting 286 fresh cases in the last 24 hours. The cases were reported from 16 districts.
More than 50 pc of the fresh infections were from Khurda pushing the test positivity rate in the district to 2.18 per cent from about one pc a month back. Of the 147 cases detected in the district, 122 were from Bhubaneswar.
Other districts showing a rising trend included Mayurbhanj (21), Cuttack (17) and Sundargarh (15). A total 58,816 samples, including 23,116 through RT-PCR were tested. The death of three more patients took the toll to 8,431. The State has 2,137 active cases.