Hyderabad: Telangana government on Monday declared holidays for schools, colleges and other educational institutions from January 8-16, 2022, as the state witnessed a sharp spike in COVID-19 cases.
The decision was taken as per the directions of Telangana chief minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao, who reviewed the prevalence of Omicron and the condition of COVID-19 in the state, on Monday.
Meanwhile, Hyderabad Police Commissioner CV Anand asked police personnel to strictly adhere to COVID -19 safety protocols including wearing face masks and observing social distancing, due to the increase in COVID-19 cases.
“If anyone is facing health issues, they should inform their superior officers. Action will be taken against officials who show negligence. It is our responsibility to take care of the staff,” he said.
Several states in India have shut down schools from today, January 3, due to a spike in COVID-19 cases in the country.
Meanwhile, the COVID-19 vaccination drive for 15 to18-year-old children has begun in the states of Karnataka, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, etc.
The COVID-19 vaccination registration will be online on the government’s vaccination portal, Co-WIN or one could also walk-in to a vaccination centre for their shot. Children of this age group are only eligible for Covaxin, which has been cleared for emergency use, for children. The new guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination will be in effect from January 3, 2022.
Earlier on Monday, State Health Minister T Harish Rao said that the positivity rate in the state and the country has increased by four-fold in the past week.
Telangana Director of Public Health and Family Welfare (DPH) Srinivas Rao has dismissed the rumours of lockdown and night curfews in the state.
DPH Rao said, “Some false/misleading news is circulating on social media about lockdown and night curfew. I request you not to carry such rumours,”.
The National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) along with the Telangana government will undertake a statewide SARS Cov-2 or a COVID-19 serosurvey starting from January 4. The massive study will be held across all of the state’s 33 districts, and 16,000 samples will be chosen randomly from 330 villages to assess the community spread of infection in Telangana.
On December 24, 2021, the Telangana high court directed the state government to take steps to prevent public gatherings during Christmas, New Year, and Sankranti expressing concern over the new Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus.
The Telangana government last week also banned rallies and public meetings in the state indefinitely in view of the Omicron threat. Meanwhile, the state police have also decided to intensify checking for violators of COVID-19 norms in Hyderabad and other parts of the state, especially with regard to the law of imposing a fine of Rs 1000 for not wearing masks in public.
A jump in COVID-19 cases:
Telangana recorded a major jump in COVID-19 cases on Monday, with 482 new COVID-19 positive cases in the state, although no new cases of the Omicron variant were reported.
423 passengers arriving from at-risk countries were tested for the virus. of which, only 23 were found to be RTPCR positive for COVID-19. However, none of them tested positive for the Omicron variant.
The total number of Omicron cases in the state remains at 84, including the 5 cases that were reported on Sunday. According to the director of public health, five Omicron cases recovered on Monday, taking the total number of cases recovered to 37.