Tripura government has sounded an alert as some parts of the country registered an increase in Omicron cases over the past few days.
Tripura Information and Cultural Affairs minister Sushanta Chowdhury in a press conference said no case of Omicron infection has so far been reported in Tripura but there is a need to take extra precaution to stay away from the new strain of the coronavirus.
The state government would take strict action to ensure the use of face cover, sanitizer and social distancing from the New Year, he said while appealing all to follow the guidelines so that the threat can be prevented.
Speaking to the media, Chowdhury said, "samples of 33 among 69 persons, who came to Tripura from abroad recently, were sent to Kalyani laboratory for genome sequencing. The reports of 31 samples were negative while the results of the two remaining samples are awaiting."
He said, "Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) facility, the test to identify Omicron cases, will be made available in the state's prime referral healthcare institution- GBP hospital by February next year."
The tender process has already been completed for installation of the machine, he said, adding that once the facility is made available in the state, it would reduce the time of receiving the test reports.
Speaking to the media, Chowdhury said, "samples of 33 among 69 persons, who came to Tripura from abroad recently, were sent to Kalyani laboratory for genome sequencing.Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, who also holds the Health portfolio, and Chief Secretary Kumar Alok chaired two separate meetings to review the preparations to deal with any eventuality. The meetings were held soon after the Centre asked the states to be alert on the Omicron developments, Chowdhury said.
Additional Secretary Anindya Bhattacharjee, Managing Director of NHM Tripura- Siddharth Shiv Jaiswal and State Surveillance Officer Dr. Deep Kumar Debbarma were also present in the meeting.
Meanwhile, Tripura has administered 46,81,358 doses of the Covid vaccine so far-- 25,67,089 first shots and 21,14,269 second doses, according to an official report.
The Chief Minister in a tweet announced that the state would start administering Covid vaccines to children in the age group of 15 to 18 years from January 3 next.
"Much gratitude to Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi Ji, under his able leadership we will start vaccinating children aged 15 to 18 from January 3rd, 2022. This will further strengthen our fight against the pandemic," the Chief Minister tweeted.
Tripura recorded a total of 826 Covid deaths so far. The number of Covid infected patients in the state as on December 25 was 53.