Mask up, follow 3T: Odisha gears up to prevent Covid

The state government also geared up to resume treating facilities and maintain adequate stock of testing kits, hospital consumables and drugs.

Published: 24th December 2022 06:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th December 2022 06:14 AM   |  A+A-

covid-19 vaccination

For representational purposes

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha government on Friday issued a fresh Covid advisory asking people to mask up, maintain social distance and practice hand washing like earlier.Even as there is no noticeable spike in Covid with the state reporting less than 10 cases a day since November, the advisory came following the scare over Omicron sub-variant BF.7 in the country and in view of the upcoming Christmas-New Year celebration phase and hockey men’s World Cup in January. Health secretary Shalini Pandit advised people to self-isolate if they develop any Covid-like symptom and get tested. Fever clinics will remain open in all health facilities and the officials have been directed to follow the same testing, tracking and treatment policy.

The state government also geared up to resume treating facilities and maintain adequate stock of testing kits, hospital consumables and drugs. All foreign returnees will be screened and tested.While SCB medical college and hospital (MCH), MKCG MCH and VIMSAR will continue with 20 beds, including five ICU beds - each till March 2023 - all district headquarters hospitals have been asked to keep 10 oxygen support beds in readiness with adequate manpower.

“Odisha is currently conducting 134 tests per million, which is higher than the national rate of 109 per million. The test positivity rate in the state is 0.05 per cent (pc). We will continue the current testing and surveillance strategy as per the ICMR guidelines,” she said.

Advising people not to panic, Pandit said, the sub-variants circulating globally for last few months are all sub-lineages of Omicron which  have not led to a surge in cases and hospitalisation in the country. “We have 54 positive cases now. None is hospitalised. Though some sub-variants are showing high transmissibility in other countries, there is no evidence to suggest that it can cause disease severity or escape vaccine-induced immunity in India,” she said.

A mock drill will be conducted on December 27 to check the readiness in all MCHs, district headquarters hospitals and Capital Hospital, Bhubaneswar besides the Rourkela Government Hospital. The government has also readied the Biochemistry lab of SCB MCH for whole genome sequencing. Sequencing will be carried out there along with the Institute of Life Sciences and Regional Medical Research Centre.

In view of the ensuing hockey World Cup, more Covid testing will be conducted in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Rourkela. All UPHCs and UCHCs in the three cities will have both antigen and RT-PCR Covid testing facilities.


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