Contact-tracing revved up as Omicron reaches Sircilla

Gulf returnee diagnosed with new variant; family members test negative

A day after the district reported its first confirmed case of Omicron with a Gulf returnee of Gudem village in Mustabad mandal testing positive for the COVID-19 variant, health authorities have intensified efforts to trace all his contacts and carry out tests on them in adherence with contact-tracing protocols.

The 26-year-old youth arrived at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport from Dubai on December 16 and his samples were collected and sent for genome sequencing the same day, sources said. His test results returned positive for Omicron on Monday and the report was immediately communicated to the district health authorities. He was shifted to the designated State-run health facility in Hyderabad on Monday afternoon.

A medical team conducted rapid antigen tests on his mother, wife and two children on the same day. Their test results returned negative. They were advised home isolation, sources said.

A sanitisation drive was conducted in the village by spraying sodium hypochlorite and medical teams were deployed for contact tracing and testing.

Around 62 primary and secondary contacts of the infected person have been identified and efforts are on to conduct tests on all of them, sources in the health department said.

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 vaccination drive has been stepped up all over the district to achieve 100% inoculation of the eligible population by this month end.

“All the COVID-19 precautionary measures are in place in Gudem village, which reported the first Omicron case in the district on Monday,” said District Medical and Health Officer Suman Mohan Rao.

Nearly 97% of the total eligible population of the district have received one dose of the COVID vaccine and around 70% had taken both doses till Monday, Mr Rao said.

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