Chennai: The Tamil Nadu health department is readying itself for any surge in Covid-19 cases after the new variant, Omicron BF7 was detected in the country.
There is a surge in Covid cases in China and Japan and more than 480 people have died in China due to this new variant. More than one lakh people are detected positive in that country and after the variant was detected in India, the Government of India sent guidelines to the states.
The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, M.K. Stalin in a high-level meeting of bureaucrats said that the state should be prepared for any eventuality even though the possibility of a surge like during the presence of the Delta variant was less. Tamil Nadu has inoculated 97 per cent of its population with the first dose of vaccine and 92 per cent with the second dose of vaccine and hence the immunity in society is high.
However, the state health department has directed people to wear masks and to ensure safe distancing with the festive season of Christmas and New Year celebrations on the anvil.
The state Public health department has already sent a request letter to the Union Health Ministry to conduct checking of passengers arriving from China and Hong Kong for Covid-19.
The Chief Minister in the high-level meeting has directed officials to test all symptomatic passengers arriving on international flights according to the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and to make sure that they are provided treatment.
A statement from the Chief Minister’s office on Thursday said that the government was prepared with beds, drugs, testing, and oxygen facilities being made available adequately in all hospitals.
The state government has also directed the officials to conduct whole genome sequencing of Covid-19 samples to detect new variants. It is to be noted that the Omicron BF-7 which is the new causative variant for Covid-19 surge in China and other countries is a subvariant of Omicron BA- 5 which was detected in Tamil Nadu during genome sequencing conducted in June, July and August.