Nagaland government sounds alarm over rapid spread of Omicron
Kohima, Dec. 22 (EMN): Nagaland Health department on Wednesday warned against taking things “lightly” amid festive season as the Omicron variant is spreading rapidly across the globe including India.
Principal Director Dr. Neikhrielie Khimiao said that a lot of mingling will take place during the festive season.
“This (Omicron) is a variant of concern, with three to four times more transmissible than Delta variant,” he warned, addressing a press conference in Kohima.
‘We are letting our guard down. This cannot be taken lightly,’ he said.
Due precautions have been taken up and necessary instructions have been issued to all the districts. Advisories have been given to all the districts, particularly districts having inter-state boundaries like Dimapur, Mon, Kohima, Wokha and Mokokchung.
State Health department is doing its best to tackle any eventualities, he informed. Besides, issuing of advisories to all health centres to gear up, and lower establishments have also been directed to be on standby.
‘Sufficient testing kits are available. However, to tackle the impending omicron variant that is fast spreading, it should be a concerted effort of all’, he said.
At least 89 countries have been affected by the Omicron variant.
One international passenger tests positive
The principal director also informed that a person, who landed in Nagaland from the United States on Tuesday, tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday and is asymptomatic. The sample has been sent for genome sequencing at a designated lab, the result of which will be learnt after five or six days. Till such time, the person would be kept under quarantine, he said.
Contact tracing has been initiated and all protocols have been activated, the official added.
State Nodal Officer of Integrated Diseases Surveillance Programme, Dr. Nyanthung Kikon informed that the measures for prevention of Omicron as well as clinical management are same with that of Covid-19.
He warned that festivity can be a point where transmission can happen for both Delta and omicron variants and urged all to strictly maintain Covid-appropriate behaviour.
Nodal Officer of Bio-Safety Level Laboratories, Dr. Vinotsole Tina Khamo laid emphasis on the importance of testing.
‘Unless tested, how can one know that a person is positive?’ she asked and urged all to come forward for testing to avoid spreading. She added that testing at all entry gates is a must.
She also informed that the equipment for genome sequencing is not available in the state, ‘though are there experts’.
Across the country, a few labs are “designated” for genome sequencing. The closest labs for Nagaland are in Imphal and Kolkata, she added.