Andhra steps up vigil after first Omicron case

Amaravati, Dec 13 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh, which reported its first Omicron case on Sunday, has stepped up vigil with Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday directing the Health Department to take all necessary steps required to prevent spread of the new variant of Covid-19.

At a meeting with top officials, the Chief Minister reviewed the prevailing Covid situation and progress of vaccination.

The state on Sunday reported the first case of Omicron. A 34-year-old man, who returned to Vijayanagaram district from Ireland late last month, tested positive for the new variant.

A total of 15 foreign returnees tested positive for Covid-19. Of them, genome sequencing reports of 10 people have been received. While nine tested negative for the new variant, the result of remaining five is awaited.

The officials informed the Chief Minister that RT-PCR tests are being conducted at the airports in the wake of the Omicron variant. They said a gene sequencing lab will be set up in a week.

The officials also informed Jagan Mohan Reddy that the 32nd Fever Survey is being conducted across the state. The state currently has 1,912 active Covid-19 cases. The recovery rate stands at 99.21 percent while the positivity rate is 0.52 percent.

The officials said oxygen generation plants will be set up in 100- bed private hospitals across the state. They said 23,457 oxygen concentrators, 27,311 D type cylinders are available in the state and added that 144 PSA plants will be available in government hospitals by the end of December.

The Chief Minister instructed the officials to coordinate with the Central government and ensure two doses of vaccination are completed to all the prescribed age groups by January.

He also reviewed the progress of works related to construction of village and urban clinics and Nadu Nedu works in government hospitals. He said the change due to the Nadu Nedu programme should be clearly visible and instructed the officials to display ‘before-after’ photos after completion of the works.

He directed the officials to expedite the construction of new medical colleges and said to create awareness among the people on Aarogyasri on empanelled hospitals, a hoarding should be displayed in village secretariats in this regard. He said village clinics should be made referral points and ANMs in village secretariats should take up the responsibility till village clinics are made available.

He said there should be proper information and guidance on empanelled hospitals and Aarogyasri services and added that the same information should be available in 108 ambulances and these services should be extended to 104 call centres.

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