Karnataka asked to focus on Covid clusters amid Omicron scare



  • Karnataka has been told to focus on the increase in clusters with the highly transmissible Omicron variant being detected, and also manage the Covid-19 situation effectively.
  • Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan reviewed the public preparedness of states for fighting Covid-19 and the Omicron variant along with the progress of vaccination with Health Secretaries and National Health Mission (NHM) MDs of states and UTs via video conference on Thursday. Following this, a five-fold strategy including instructions on containment measures, testing and surveillance, clinical management, Covid-safe behaviour and vaccination strategies were advised.

    Send cluster samples for genome sequencing, State told

    “As regards Karnataka, we were told to pay attention to the increase in the number of clusters. We have been told to implement stringent measures in these areas and also to look at containment measures in the clusters,” said Arundathi Chandrashekar, Managing Director, National Health Mission, who attended the meeting. According to a senior doctor from the Technical Advisory Committee, several studies have shown that cluster size is positively related to the presence of individuals with high viral load.
  • It is important to contain the clusters as the size and duration (how long the cases remain positive) are largely dependent on the viral load and contagiousness. Transmission can occur even in low viral load cases which can go undetected by RAT tests and may need a change of testing strategy with RT-PCRs,” he said. The Centre has also asked the state to ensure that samples of all cases in clusters are sent for genome sequencing. “Procedures for this have already been put in place.
  • We are also considering involving new labs for faster genome sequencing results. It is being taken into consideration already,” Arundathi added. While the Centre has asked states to consider night curfews, restrictions on large gatherings, notifying containment zones and buffer zones in case of clusters of positive cases, Health and Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar told TNIE, “Containment measures like night curfew will be decided based on the prevailing situation and recommendation of the Technical Advisory Committee. As of now, considering the potential threat of large gatherings and public celebrations during New Year’s Eve, we have imposed certain restrictions,” he said.
  • Arundathi stressed that the state has been appreciated for keeping the positivity rate at the lowest and also for the pace of vaccination. “We have also been told to increase the speed of vaccination for covering the second dose, focus on districts with poor vaccination rates and increase door-to-door campaigns to achieve this. We are on the right track and are focusing on all of these,” she added.
  • Meanwhile, Dr Sudhakar also said that the state has enhanced surveillance for effective tracing, tracking and quarantine of primary and secondary contacts and triaging of infected persons to ensure early screening and timely treatment. “The critical care infrastructure, including ICU beds and oxygen generation plants, which is augmented significantly during the first and second wave, will be utilised if more cases require hospitalisation. We are prepared,” Dr Sudhakar stressed.


  • United diagnosticss

    United diagnosticss



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