CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu has stopped sending all ‘S’ gene drop samples for genome sequencing to confirm if it is positive for Omicron as 85 per cent of the samples are now positive for Covid-19 with ‘S’ gene drop, said Health Minister Ma Subramanian on Tuesday.
Speaking to the media he said, now 85 per cent of the samples tested in the State show ‘S’ gene drop, a marker for Omicron variant, and only 15 per cent is Delta variant. Stating that if people follow Covid-19 appropriate behaviour and ensure 100 per cent mask compliance he said, there is no need for lockdowns and further restrictions.
When asked if he would make any suggestions for a lockdown after Pongal he said, the Chief Minister is thinking about the livelihood of the people and economy should not be affected by lockdowns as the CM is of the view that current restrictions in force are enough, but he is also concerned about the safety of the people. While distributing pulse oximeters to people who tested positive for Covid-19 the Minister said, the State is genome sequencing all clusters samples for early detection in case of any new variant in the State. In Chennai alone among over 26,000 active cases, 21,987 are in home isolation, Subramanian said.
The Health Minister also requested corporates, volunteers to come forward to donate pulse oximeters to Chennai Corporation, so that it can be distributed to people in home isolation. Regarding Covid-19 vaccination the Health Minister said, 70 per cent of teenagers in the age group of 15-18 were vaccinated. Students in ITI, polytechnics and children not in schools are to be covered.
Meanwhile, Covid-19 mega vaccination camp might be cancelled this week due to festival. The Health Minister along with Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan, Chennai Corporation Commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi inspected an apartment in Thiruvanmiyur where more than 10 Covid cases were reported. Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya will participate in the virtual inauguration of 11 new medical colleges by the PM.