Omicron variant: Dists asked to strengthen surveillance

Omicron variant: Dists asked to strengthen surveillance

Kolkata: The State Health department has asked the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMoHs) in the districts to strengthen surveillance to find out if anybody is admitted to any hospitals after returning from countries where the new Covid variant, Omicron was found. Such countries have already been demarcated as 'At Risk'. The Union Health Ministry has also issued directives to all the state governments in this regard.

All the district health officials have been alerted about the new variant which was found in many foreign countries. Health department has also been seeking regular data from the Calcutta airport. Coordination is maintained between the airport, health department, transport and home department so that people coming from 'At Risk' countries are properly tested and they can be put under proper monitoring.

The State Health department has also been collecting data from the state transport department and railways to ascertain those who have come to Bengal from other states. The aim of sharing data is to track those who are coming from other districts.

According to the Health Ministry guideline, people arriving in Kolkata from 'At Risk' countries will have to go Covid test at the airports. If they test positive for Covid they will be taken to the hospitals or if someone tests negative, he/she will have to remain in home quarantine for 7 days.

State government has already directed all the bordering districts to carry out Covid tests mandatorily for those arriving in the state from Bangladesh, as our neighbouring country has been designated as a country 'At Risk'. If any Bangladeshi is tested positive for Covid, he/she will be put under isolation. Bangladesh and Singapore have been added to the list of 'At Risk' countries. Around 12 countries have been demarcated as 'At Risk' so far.

All the District Magistrates (DM) of the bordering districts have been asked to ensure that the directives are followed and surveillance is conducted properly. A video conference was conducted by the Chief Secretary HK Dwivedi with the DMS of bordering districts where Health Secretary Narayan Swaroop Nigam was also present.

Center has already written to all the states urging them to conduct rigorous surveillance for international passengers especially from those countries where new Covid strain Omicron has been found. This new variant has been termed as 'variant of concern' and the countries have been designated as 'At Risk'.

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