The Tamil Nadu government on Monday, November 29, said no case of the latest variant of coronavirus, 'Omicron', has been detected in the state so far and insisted that surveillance has been stepped up across the airports to prevent its spread. State Chief Secretary V Irai Anbu held a review meeting with District Collectors and other top officials and urged them to ensure all precautionary measures to prevent the spread of Omicron, declared as a Variant of Concern by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
According to an official release, he told bureaucrats that no case of the said coronavirus variant has been detected in Tamil Nadu and said measures, including strict surveillance of international air travelers, expediting the vaccination programme and conforming to mask behaviour were needed to check the spread of the virus.
The release said that incoming travelers from South Africa, where Omicron was first detected, and European countries, including the UK, besides Botswana, China and Israel, should compulsorily undergo the RT-PCR test and that they would be allowed to go home only if tested negative for the virus. "Omicron mutated coronavirus has not been detected in Tamil Nadu so far," the release said.
Meanwhile, Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Ma Subramanian said that in the wake of the emergence of the Omicron variant, 'cluster areas' were being monitored closely and samples being made to undergo Whole Genome Sequencing. All these tests have only returned Delta variant cases, he told reporters in Chennai.
On Monday, the state logged 730 new COVID-19 cases and nine deaths. The cumulative positives climbed to 27.26 lakh while the nine new fatalities pushed the overall toll to 36,472, according to a government bulletin. Recoveries outnumbered new cases, with 767 people being cured of the virus during this period, with the total recoveries mounting to 26.81 lakh. Active cases slid to 8,291, from the 8,337 on Sunday. Coimbatore with 106 cases and Chennai (105) topped the districts in new COVID-19 cases, while Tenkasi and Theni recorded zero cases.