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Tamil Nadu Has Not Detected Any Cases of Omicron Variant: State Health Minister

Tamil Nadu has not detected any cases of ‘Omicron’ variant and the five international passengers who have tested Covid-19 positive on their arrival from the United Kingdom and Singapore, were suspected to contracted the ‘Delta’ variant of Covid-19, Tamil Nadu Minister Ma Subramanian said on Sunday. The Health and Family Welfare Minister said the five individuals who arrived from the high risk countries were ‘asymptomatic’ and were ‘fine’ at the King Institute of Preventive Medicine and Research hospital in the city.

“As per the first level of information, one individual (of the five passengers) has tested Covid-19 negative. Tamil Nadu has not detected any Omicron variant,” he told reporters. Health Department Principal Secretary J Radhakrishnan said the chances of the five people testing positive for Omicron variant was ‘less’.

“Based on the information received, they might have contracted the Delta variant. The chances of five passengers contracting the Omicron variant is less. We have sent their samples for genomic sequencing,” he told reporters. A 21-year old woman bound for Odisha has tested ‘Covid-19’ positive and has been admitted to the King Institute, he said. Allaying fears of the Omicron variant, Radhakrishnan appealed to members of the public not to panic and not to spread false information in the social media. The government has intensified the preventive measures in all the international airports and also at the border districts of the State, he said.

The Health Secretary said there was a hesitancy among people to wear a facial mask and also to get the vaccination. “Getting Vaccinated and wearing a facial mask is the only solution to safeguard us (from the pandemic).”

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu after reporting a marginal increase in the new Covid-19 infections reported a decline in new cases on Sunday with 724 people testing Covid-19 positive to Saturday’s 731. According to a medical bulletin, 724 people have tested Covid-19 positive, pushing the caseload to 27,30,516, while the death toll rose to 36,529 with 10 more fatalities.

Recoveries outnumbered new infections with 743 people getting discharged in the last 24 hours, aggregating to 26,85,946 leaving 8,041 active infections. A total of 1,02,068 samples were tested in the last 24 hours, pushing the cumulative number of specimens examined to 5,47,83,973.

Chennai and Coimbatore accounted for the majority of new infections with 131 and 124 cases, respectively, while the remaining was scattered across other districts. As many as 23 districts reported new Covid-19 infections below 10, while Perambalur, Ramanathapuram and Theni recorded the least with zero new cases each, the bulletin said.

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