Omicron suspects to be kept in isolated wards

Omicron suspects to be kept in isolated wards

KOLKATA: According to the latest directives of the state Health department, Covid positive patients—who are Omicron suspects— have to be kept at complete isolation in the hospitals, away from the wards where the patients with other Covid variants are undergoing treatment.

If anybody tests positive for Covid within 14 days after his or her return from any country, which is already demarcated as a 'high risk' country, the patient must be put under hospital isolation. Such patients have been strictly kept at isolation till his or her genome sequencing report comes negative.

If someone is found Omicron positive in genome sequencing after returning from any foreign country, RT-PCR tests must be carried out on him or her in a gap of 48 hours. Till the report comes negative, the patient will not be released from the isolation ward. Most of the foreign returnees who tested positive for Covid were asymptomatic.

The state Health department issues the new directives on Wednesday stating that foreign returnees have to be mandatorily admitted to the government designated hospital if they test positive for Covid on their arrival at Calcutta airport. No Covid infected foreign returnees will be allowed to take home isolation if they are found positive for Covid.

State Health department has been closely monitoring the situation as the number of Omicron suspects in the state has been going up in the state. The department has taken strict measures regarding the isolation in the hospital for Covid positive patients so that the infection is not transmitted to others.

Experts have pointed out that the transmissible capacity of the Omicron variant is higher compared to other variants. State Health department has been carrying out contract tracing of those who have come in contact with Covid positive patients, who returned from other countries. Those who were found to have come in contact with such patients had already been put under isolation.

"The transmissible capacity of the Omicron variant is 3 times higher than that of the delta variant. This has become a cause of concern. The government has been closely monitoring the situation," said Dr G Mukherjee, a senior pathologist from the city.

So far, only one foreign returnee tested positive for the Omicron variant. The patient tested negative for Omicron within 48 hours, bringing a sigh of relief to the health officials in the state.

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