Image used for representational purpose only.
Image used for representational purpose only.

Two new Covid cases detected in Odisha, experts call for more tests

As there is a concern over emergence of JN.1, a new sub-variant of Omicron, the health authorities have asked the districts concerned to analyse the travel history of all three patients.

BHUBANESWAR: In the midst of rising coronavirus cases in different states, Odisha reported two new COVID cases in two days taking the total number to three in three days. Health department sources said while two cases have been detected from Cuttack, one was found positive in Khurda district. The patients have mild symptoms and are undergoing treatment in home isolation.

As there is a concern over the emergence of JN.1, a new sub-variant of Omicron, the health authorities have asked the districts concerned to analyse the travel history of all three patients. Director of Health Services Dr Bijay Mohapatra said, “The samples of the three patients have been sent for genome sequencing to ascertain the presence of the JN.1 variant. There is no reason to panic. But everybody should remain vigilant and go for Covid tests if they develop symptoms.”

Health experts have, however, expressed concern over the drop in testing in Odisha even as the Centre in its recent advisory had asked all states to step up surveillance and ensure adequate testing to detect as many cases to prevent further spread. The case from Khurda was detected among 133 samples sent for RT-PCR tests. While the earlier two cases were found from around 500 samples, the number of tests has dropped from a range of around 300 a day last week to less than 150 on Monday.  

If the test positivity rate is around one per cent given the testing figure in the last 24 hours, senior medicine specialist Dr Niroj Mishra said, the government should go for Covid tests of all people with symptoms visiting different hospitals. “At least, people found with the virus can be alerted to remain in home isolation and help prevent spread. The government can also think of vaccinating the elderly and people with comorbidities with one more booster shot to minimise the severity,” he suggested.     

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The New Indian Express
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