No case of Omicron variant in India yet: Health Minister

By Rajan Nath -- November 30, 2021 1:15 pm -- Updated:November 30, 2021 3:35 pm

Amid growing concerns over the new Covid-19 variant, the Union Health Minister of India, Mansukh Mandaviya, on Tuesday said that no case of the Omicron variant has been reported in India so far.

Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said, in Rajya Sabha, that "No case of Covid-19 variant Omicron reported in India so far."

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Meanwhile, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Tuesday held a review meeting with states and UTs and advised them to ramp up testing for early identification and management of cases.

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While underlining that the new Covid-19 variant Omicron doesn't escape RT-PCR and RAT tests, Bhushan asked states and UTs to ensure adequate infrastructure and supervised home isolation.

ln the wake of the new Variant of Concern (VoC ), the Union Health Ministry has asked all states and UTs to focus on intensive containment, active surveillance, enhanced testing, monitoring of hotspots, increased coverage of vaccination and ensure augmentation of health infrastructure.

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On November 28, Bhushan, in a letter to states and UTs, had stressed rigorous surveillance of international passengers and ensuring prompt dispatch of samples for genome sequencing. He had also stressed strict enforcement of Covid Appropriate Behaviour.

The B.1.1.529 Covid variant or Omicron, first detected in South Africa, was designated by the World Health Organisation as a 'variant of concern'.

The Centre recently introduced new guidelines for people travelling from or transiting through 'at-risk' countries. It issued a slew of directions to the states for ramping up testing-surveillance measures and health facilities.

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The Russian Gamaleya Institute believes its Sputnik V and Light vaccines will neutralize the new Omicron variant of Covid-19 as they have the highest efficacy against mutations of the novel coronavirus, said Kirill Dmitriev, Chief Executive Officer of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), on Monday. Read more

-PTC News

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