Bhubaneswar: In view of new COVID-19 variant detected in southern Africa this week as the ‘Variant of Concern’, Odisha Government as part of precautionary measure made 10-day quarantine mandatory for people returning from foreign countries.
“The foreign returnees will have to stay under quarantine for a period of 10 days to prevent further spread of COVID infections in the State,” informed Health Director Niranjan Mishra.
As per Government’s revised COVID guidelines against the new mutant, the returnees will undergo COVID-19 test at airports. Their swab samples will be sent for genome sequencing after being tested positive for the virus, he added.
Speaking on rise in COVID cases in educational institutions in Odisha, the senior health official said that close surveillance will be made on schools, colleges and hostels.
In this regard, the State Health & Family Welfare Department has written to all district collectors, CDMOs and Municipal Commissioners instructing them to focus on 3Ts — Testing, Tracking and Treatment — while intensifying COVID vaccination drive across the State.
The schools, colleges and hostels will turn into quarantine centres and authorities concerned have been asked to adhere to the COVID guidelines.
“The students with COVID-19 symptoms have been asked not to come to schools. COVID test will be conducted on the symptomatic students immediately. The schools and colleges which report fresh COVID cases will be sealed and instructions have been made to comply COVID appropriate behaviour on the premises,” Mishra said making it clear that the imminent third wave can be evaded if people will remain cautious.
An advisory on new COVID variant will be released by the Government soon, he added.