Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian on Thursday said the state has not reported any case of the new variant — Omicron, of Covid-19, till now.
Speaking to reporters in Madurai, the minister said that till Wednesday night, 477 passengers from high-risk countries were screened and no one tested positive.
The health minister also inspected the new facilities for Covid-19 screening at Madurai International Airport.
He said that screening of passengers arriving from high-risk countries was being conducted at all the four airports in the state.
The Minister also said that swab samples of passengers arriving from ‘at-risk’ countries are collected, and the passengers are let out from the special enclosures only if the results are negative.
He said that passengers arriving from the ‘at-risk’ countries will have to undergo a seven-day mandatory home quarantine, adding that the police, local officials, and the health department officials will monitor them.
Ma Subramanian said that international passengers who test positive on arrival will be admitted to medical college hospitals in the specially set-up Covid-19 wards, and they will not be admitted along with Covid positive patients as precautionary measures.
While RT-PCR tests can detect the presence of Omicron, the state health department, according to the health minister, will conduct genome sequencing as well.
He said: “As we don’t know the severity of the new variant, it is being taken seriously across the state, and the process of monitoring is strict.”
The health minister also said that vaccination would give protection against Omicron, and appealed to the people of the state to take both doses of the vaccine.