News

No case of Omicron case detected in TN to date, says Health Minister

39views


Screening facilities have been put in place at all 4 international airports in the State; Minister appeals to residents to get vaccinated to help protect them against new COVID-19 variant

No case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been detected in Tamil Nadu till Wednesday, said Health Minister, Ma. Subramanian in Madurai on Thursday.

None of the 477 passengers, who were screened on arrival from high-risk countries till Wednesday night, have tested positive, the Minister said, after inspecting the new COVID-19 screening facilities set up at the Madurai international airport, following the out-break of Omicron in some countries.

“The Health Department acted immediately upon hearing about the new variant of COVID-19 having infected some 60 persons in a few countries,” he said. Stating that the new variant has now spread to 11 countries including Europe, he said all international passengers coming from these high-risk countries were being screened at the airports.

“Swab samples are lifted at the airport and only after the negative test results are obtained, are passengers being let out of the specially-created holding area at the airports,” he said.

These facilities have been created at international airports at Chennai, Madurai, Tiruchi and Coimbatore.

Free RT-PCR test

Apart from the screening of passengers from high-risk countries, 2% of international passengers from non-risk countries are also randomly selected and RT-PCR tests are conducted on them.

RT-PCR tests have been made free by the Tamil Nadu government for those who cannot afford Rs. 600 charged at the airports, Mr. Subramanian said.

Passengers who can afford Rs. 3,400 can opt for Rapid COVID-19 testing available at all the four airports to avoid the waiting period of five to six hours.

Mandatory home quarantine

Passengers from high-risk countries will have to undergo a mandatory 7-day home quarantine period. Besides Health Inspectors, a team of officials from Local Bodies, Police and the Revenue, will keep watch on them.

“They will have to undergo another RT-PCR test after seven days. Only if they get a negative report, will they be allowed to move outside their homes,” Mr. Subramanian said.

The Health Minister said that fever screening was also being done at airports and anyone with abnormally high temperatures would be isolated and made to undergo a swab test.

Positive passengers

International passengers who test positive on arrival will be taken to the respective Government Medical College Hospital and admitted to specially-created COVID-19 wards. “These patients would not be put along with local COVID-19 patients as a precautionary measure,” the Minister said.

Though the presence of Omicron infection could be known through RT-PCR testing, genome sequencing would also be done.

Genome sequencing is for samples collected from eight clusters across the State to monitor the presence of Omicron.

To a question, the Health Minister said that the State government was taking all precautionary measure against Omicron so that there was no need for any additional restriction on the movement of people.

Also Read: Collectors can take call on banning unvaccinated persons from public places, says TN Health Minister

“Till date, there is no report of a death due to Omicron in any country. However, we still do not know the variant’s severity,” he said. But, Mr. Subramanian said that vaccination against COVID-19 will give protection against Omicron and appealed to people to come forward for the two doses of the vaccine.

When asked about the possibility of administering a booster dose to overcome the Omicron threat, the Health Minister said that the Tamil Nadu government will follow the guidelines of Indian Council of Medical Research on this issue.

Minister for Commercial Taxes, P. Moorthi, Health Secretary, J. Radhakrishnan, Madurai Collector, S. Aneesh Sekhar, Corporation Commissioner, K.P. Karthikeyan and Madurai GRH Dean, Rathinavel, were present.



Source link

Leave a Response