Tamil Nadu reports 33 Omicron cases taking tally to 34

Chennai: Tamil Nadu registered 33 new Omicron cases in the past 24 hours, State Health Minister Ma Subramanian said here on Thursday.

With this, the total number of Omicron variant cases in the state mounted to 34, he told the media, adding that a person had tested positive a few days ago.

He said that of the 33 new cases, 26 are from Chennai. The state Health Minister and Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan called upon the people not to panic and said that the contacts of those who turned positive are being traced and the results of genome sequencing of a few more people are awaited.

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The Health Department officials have urged the people not to lower thir guards and take both the vaccine doses at the earliest. It also called upon the people to abide by the Covid protocols, including wearing masks and social distancing.

Ma Subramanian said that of the 104 people who had tested Covid-19 positive after arriving in the state from abroad, 82 were detected with the ‘S’ gene drop variant of coronavirus.

The first Omicron case in the state was detected on December 15 when a passenger from Nigeria which is a “not-at-risk” country tested Omicron positive.

It prompted the state government to write to the Centre to conduct Covid-19 tests for all international passengers arriving in the state. At present, mandatory tests are conducted for passengers arriving from “at-risk” countries while for people from “not-at-risk” countries, there is a random check among 2 percent of such passengers.

The health department had in the letter informed the Union government that this was not enough and tests be conducted on all international passengers.

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