Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Wednesday urged the people of the state to remain cautious and not to venture out of their homes to curb the spread of the new Omicron variant of Covid-19.
Patnaik’s message comes close on heels of two cases of Omicron being detected in the state after conducting genome sequencing of earlier collected samples of foreign returnees, which was confirmed Tuesday by the Institute of Life Sciences (ILS) in Bhubaneswar.
“Each and every life is precious to me. The new Omicron variant has been spreading rapidly. Hence, we all have to stay alert and strictly follow Covid appropriate behaviour to reduce the chances of getting infected with the virus. Do not be careless, wear mask and maintain social distancing,” said the Chief Minister in his video message.
“The new variant of Covid-19 is spreading in several other countries. The transmission rate of Omicron is much higher than that of the Delta variant. Hence, it has become a major cause of concern for the World Health Organisation (WHO),” Patnaik further added in the message.
The Chief Minister emphasised that there is nothing to panic and Omicron variant can certainly be avoided if people remain cautious. The state government will be able to fight out an expected third wave of Covid-19 with everyone’s cooperation, he said.
Notably, Director of Public Health Department Niranjan Mishra Tuesday informed that a total 8,880 people have returned to the state since November this year. Around 1,600 of them were from the ‘at-risk’ countries and all the foreign returnees, including even those from ‘non at-risk’ countries have been kept under strict surveillance.