Telangana Director of Public Health Dr Srinivas Rao on Thursday, January 6, said that the Omicron variant is in the community and urged politicians to suspend all political activities for the next four weeks. “The Omicron variant is already in the community…our estimate is that 70% cases are Omicron cases because we can’t do the genome sequencing for everyone. For now, we just have to see if it’s a COVID-19 case or not. The treatment and testing is the same.”
“With cases rising across the country, the Health Department is requesting leaders, all political parties and people’s organisations to cancel all political activities for the next four weeks. Whether it is meeting your party cadre or holding meetings, please stop activities for four weeks. We understand the relationship between politicians and people but given the COVID-19 situation, we urge all parties to halt activities in public interest,” he added.
The state government has also cancelled all holidays for the staff working in the Health Department as a precautionary measure. “New Year’s Eve is over and we saw a surge. In the coming days, there is Sankranti and many other festivals. In this time, whatever the occasion may be, please celebrate it with your family only. Please avoid gatherings and follow COVID-19 safety protocol.”
He further added, “We have learnt from the two earlier waves. There will be no major restrictions, the few we have put, please follow strictly. Because we understand that it affects the livelihoods of several people…If everyone follows, we can get out of this third wave in four to six weeks and return to some sense of normalcy.”
The official also urged only symptomatic people to undergo tests. “During this time, more than the government, the responsibility of people has increased, because their good health is in their hands. They’re the ones who have to take precautions. Doctors and the government can only advise and do as much as they can. People should take note of their own duties,” he added.
Stating that only 2.3% of the beds in private and government hospitals were occupied, the senior official also said that hospital beds and other infrastructure have been ramped up and the state machinery is ready to deal with the possible surge that is expected soon.
Telangana continued to witness a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, January 5, with 1,520 new infections being reported.The tally of cases stood at 6.85 lakh, while the death toll rose to 4,034 with one more fatality, a state government bulletin said. The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) accounted for the most cases with 979, followed by Ranga Reddy (174) and Medchal Malkajgiri (132) districts, the bulletin said, providing details as of 5.30 pm on Wednesday. It said 209 people recovered from the infection on Wednesday. The cumulative number of recoveries till date was 6.75 lakh. The number of active cases was 6,168, the bulletin said.
It said 42,531 samples were tested on Wednesday and the total number tested till date was 2.98 crore. The samples tested per million population were 8.02 lakh. The case fatality and recovery rates were 0.58% at 98.51%, respectively. No fresh case of Omicron was reported in Telangana on January 5. The cumulative number of cases of the new coronavirus variant was 94. With 43 people having recovered, the number of active Omicron cases was 51. In a massive jump, Telangana on Tuesday recorded 1,052 new COVID-19 cases, more than double that was reported on Monday.
With PTI inputs