Telangana :Testing for Omicron unnecessary, community spread has started.

Telangana :Testing for Omicron unnecessary, community spread has started.

The current surge has been witnessed since Christmas and New Year celebrations, and the health department expects the number of cases to keep rising with Sankranthi round the corner.

The cases are going to rise for another four weeks. However, the good sign is that we are seeing only mild symptoms in positive patients. Hospital admissions have not gone up and the mortality rate is also negligible. There is no need to panic,” Dr Rao said.

While affirming that a lockdown or night curfew was not an option under any circumstance, the health department has urged all political parties to refrain from holding meetings, gatherings, and demonstrations.

The department has also urged people to get tested and isolated if they develop symptoms. “People do not need to get admitted to hospitals unless their oxygen saturation levels are dropping below 93.

We request private hospitals, too, to not admit patients unnecessarily,” Dr Rao added.

The situation is not alarming. Our positivity rate is still below 10 per cent and the hospitalization rate is well below 40 per cent. We are also starting Covid out-patient clinics from Friday.

Two crore testing kits and one crore home isolation kits have been procured already, and a house-to-house fever survey will be taken up.

At the Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra borders, we have deployed our health teams to screen and test symptomatic travellers and their contacts,” the official informed.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, the Hyderabad police ordered the closure of this year’s Numaish, the 81st All India Industrial Exhibition at Nampally, owing to a rise in Covid-19 cases. The 45-day long exhibition had kicked off on January 1.

Since December 1, when screening and surveillance for the Omicron variant started at international airports across the country, the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad has detected 90 cases of the new variant.

Most of the passengers had arrived from countries which are not part of the “at-risk” list. Only four persons among their contacts were detected positive for Omicron. Of the 94 patients, 43 have recovered without any complications, while the remaining are undergoing treatment.

On Thursday, the state reported 1,913 new Covid-19 cases, of which 1,214 were from Hyderabad. The state currently has 7,847 active cases. The test positivity rate stands at 4.05 per cent, whereas hospital occupancy is at 2.3 per cent.

The Telangana government has decided to stop sharing data on the number of Omicron cases as the director of public health and family welfare said genome sequencing of every positive sample is not possible owing to the sudden surge in Covid-19 cases.

He added that testing for Omicron was also unnecessary as the new variant had already entered the community transmission stage.

70 per cent of the present cases of Covid-19 are of the Omicron strain. It has become the dominant strain in the community. Merely airport surveillance and testing all incoming passengers is not going to contain the spread,” he said.

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