Odisha: Samples of 3 more foreign returnees sent for genome sequencing

by IANS |

Bhubaneswar, Dec 19 (IANS) The Odisha government has sent samples of three more foreign returnees, who have tested Covid-19 positive, for genome sequencing, an official said here on Sunday.

So far, seven foreign returnees have tested Covid-19 positive, of which four have been found negative for Omicron variant following genome sequencing, said state director of health services, Bijay Mohapatra.

Samples of another three persons have been sent to Institute of Life Sciences (ILS) Bhubaneswar for genome sequencing, he said, adding, "once the test completes, the ILS will inform us about the result."

Stating that surveillance is the only way to trace out such cases, Mohapatra said, "The same protocol that of Covid-19 is being followed for this new variant of the virus also. All symptomatic persons should go for Covid test. Those who are found Covid positive and if he/she migrated from the Omicron affected area, the sample will be sent for genome sequencing."

Though the state administration has surveillance units all across the state, the community has a major role to play, he said.

The director appealed to the community to come forward and inform the local healthcare authority, if they came to know about any person suspected to be infected with the new variant of the coronavirus.

Odisha on Sunday reported 193 fresh Covid-19 cases including 34 in the age group of 0 to 18. The state now has 1,894 active cases. Two Covid deaths were also reported by the state government in the same time span. With this, Covid-19 death toll went up to 8,444 in Odisha.

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