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Amid heightened scare surrounding COVID-19 variant Omicron, Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Jai Prakash Singh, in an exclusive conversation with Republic TV, assured the state government's preparedness and health infrastructure competence to combat and detect the mutated SARS-CoV-2. "An alert basis the guidelines provided by the Centre has been issued at every public place namely, bus depots, airports, railway stations," he said.
"With a special focus on four regions, namely, Lucknow Varanasi, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Ghaziabad. Wherein domestic and international travellers are both checked,' he added. Further, he said that the 'targetted focus testing' across Uttar Pradesh would continue as they have been operating since the COVID-19 outbreak.
Omicron: 30 samples sent for genome sequencing, says Maharashtra health dept. A total of 30 samples have been sent for genome sequencing after airport and field surveillance to detect the presence of Omicron, the new variant of SARS-CoV2. Until Friday morning, 2,821 passengers arriving from high-risk countries at Mumbai airport have been tested using RT-PCR, with two samples testing positive, it added.
A total of 224 out of 11,060 passengers arriving from other countries have been tested as well and one sample has returned positive, a department official said.
2. West Bengal
WB govt orders 7-days isolation, RTPCR to continue. West Bengal government on Friday directed that travellers from countries affected by Omicron to the state will be required to stay in isolation for seven days, a senior official said.
Travellers flying in from other parts of the country will have to furnish their reports of RTPCR tests as the threat of Omicron, the COVID variant, looms across the world, he said. The direction was also given to keep a strict vigil on flyers from neighbouring Bangladesh and Singapore.
65 inmates, staffers of Sikkim prison among 76 new COVID patients. Sikkim reported a sudden spike in COVID-19 cases on Friday as 76 more people, including 65 inmates and staffers of Namchi Central Jail, tested positive for the infection, taking the Himalayan state's caseload to 32,343, a health bulletin said.
The death toll remained unchanged at 403 as no fresh fatality was registered. 60 inmates and 5 staffers of the Namchi Central Jail in South Sikkim district are among the new patients, it said.
A woman who returned to Chandigarh from South Africa two days ago allegedly broke home quarantine and went to a five-star hotel here, prompting authorities on Friday to order strict action against her for violating Covid protocols for travellers, especially those arriving from "at-risk" countries where Omicron variant has been detected.
5. Jammu and Kashmir
With the emergence of COVID-19 Omicron variant cases, Jammu and Kashmir government, in its advisory, said that international travellers from 'at risk' nations, who test negative at the Srinagar airport, will have to home quarantine for seven days.
After the 8th day, the travellers will also have to undergo another COVID-19 test, and have been advised to "monitor themselves carefully for at least two weeks".
A man, who returned from the UK on Nov 21, tested positive for COVID-19 on November 26. Samples of his mother and house help have been sent for testing. The man's sample has been sent for genome sequencing," Kozhikode District Medical Officer Dr Ummer Farook informed PTI.
Nearly 12 passengers arrived from 'at risk' countries where Omicron variant of coronavirus is spreading rapidly, admitted at LNJP Hospital from Delhi international airport.