CHENNAI: With the rapid spread of Omicron variant around the world and the continuing circulation of other variants including Delta, it is crucial to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour in public places and gatherings, wrote Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan, in a letter to District Collectors and the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC), on Saturday.He further added that a visible change in behaviour among all people and strict enforcement of masks, social distancing, hand washing, ensuring ventilation in closed places along with increasing the pace of vaccinations, is crucial.
Preliminary contact tracing data have clearly shown that the spread among close contacts and in closed unventilated rooms is significantly and extremely high in the case of Omicron variant. While so far, Omicron-confirmed patients and suspects are clinically stable with mild symptoms, due to increased transmissibility, it may result in increased case load and validation of clinical progress would take more time. It is more concerning because in case of Omicron, symptoms are very mild and a person may not even know that he is sick and would be unknowingly spreading it to many, said the secretary.
If any person walks in for a test, the person should be asked to self-isolate till the results come, to avoid further spread in case the results are positive as Omicron has high transmissibility. District Collectors, GCC and local authorities are asked to intensify the vigil and ensure Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are followed in gatherings. Those without travel history but have symptoms should also be tested and results followed up, to find the source of infections in case they test positive, he said.
‘Omicron spreads faster’
While stressing on the increased transmissibility of Omicron, the health secretary warned that symptoms are very mild with this variant, and a person may not even know that he is sick and would be unknowingly spreading it to many others