New COVID-19 strain likely to spread in Telangana, says health dept

Health Minister suggests Christmas, New Year and Sankranti festival celebrations confine to home in view of prevailing situation of infection

Hyderabad: It is likely that the new strain of COVID-19 that originated in the United Kingdom (UK) will spread to Telangana, Telangana health minister Eatala Rajendar said on Thursday. As many as seven passengers of 1200 who returned from the originating country have tested positive for COVID-19 so far and are being closely monitored.

Officials stated that positive samples were sent to CCMB lab to check UK new virus strain in them. “All flyers from the UK are being monitored and efforts are on to trace the contacts that got in touch with the virus-infected passengers. Those who tested negative are also being monitored closely,” officials said.

However, in view of the prevailing situation, the minister appealed to the public to be alert and suggested that the celebrations for Christmas, New Year and Sankranthi to be confined to home.

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The Minister held with the health department officials on the steps being taken in the Telangana State in the wake of global concerns with the new type of virus strain from the UK.

Minister urged the people to follow all the precautions prescribed by the government to prevent the spread of the virus. He pointed out that since the vaccine is the only way to completely eradicate the fear about the virus; full arrangements are being made to provide vaccine to the people as soon as it available and stocks reached the State.

Further, the Minister told that ten thousand vaccinators are being trained to administer the vaccine. Rajendar pointed out that if each of them could give a vaccine jab to one hundred people each day, nearly one million people could be vaccinated in one day.

The minister added that plans were afoot to vaccinate 70 to 80 lakh people in the first phase. Health, Police, Municipal and Fire personnel as well as the elderly will be vaccinated in the first phase.

Rajendar said software is also being ready to administer a second dose 28 days after administering the first dose.

The review meeting was attended by Health Secretary S A M Rizvi, Family Welfare Commissioner Vakati Karuna, Director, Medical Education Dr. Ramesh Reddy, Director of Public Health Dr Srinivasa Rao, TSMIDC MD Chandrasekhar Reddy and Covid-19 technical committee members Dr. Gangadhar.

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