New Omicron variant detected in Jammu

Hospitals put on alert to monitor surge in cases
“The behaviour of the virus is unpredictable due to the constant mutations and it spreads faster. However, people should not panic but to follow covid guidelines,” an official told Greater Kashmir. [Representational Image]
“The behaviour of the virus is unpredictable due to the constant mutations and it spreads faster. However, people should not panic but to follow covid guidelines,” an official told Greater Kashmir. [Representational Image] @WHOAFRO/Twitter

Jammu: The health authorities in Jammu have alerted Chief Medical Officers of all the districts across Jammu region to closely monitor the Covid19 situation following the detection of a new variant of Omicron in the whole genome sequencing report.

“The behaviour of the virus is unpredictable due to the constant mutations and it spreads faster. However, people should not panic but to follow covid guidelines,” an official told Greater Kashmir.

Quoting a report which has alarmed all the districts, the official said, “In view of upsurge, we had sent covid19 samples of positive cases for whole genome sequencing to NCDC New Delhi and the result received by the Directorate of Health Services, Jammu refers to a new ‘variant of concern’ i.e., BA.2.75, BA.2.38. BA.5.2, BA 2.76, BA.2, BA.5.2.1, BA.4, and BA.2.74.”

Although the admissions in the hospitals and mortality is negligible, the official said, “the behaviour of the virus is unpredictable due to the constant mutations and accordingly, the hospitals have been directed to closely monitor the patients and their families affected by the new variant of concern in the districts of Jammu province.”

“In view of new strain and upsurge in covid19 positive cases, the hospitals have been asked to adopt strategic surveillance by increasing testing, tracking, treating, vaccinating and implementing covid appropriate behaviour in all the districts of Jammu province,” said the official, quoting an official meeting as well as a report.

With a surge in positive cases, the health authorities have intensified sampling in Jammu’s populated areas and market places.

“We have established over 20 sampling points within Jammu. On a daily basis, we take Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) 2300 samples and 500 to 600 RT-PCR samples,” said an official.

The one week's figures of active positive cases of Jammu division indicated that Jammu has become hotbed of covid19 spread by the leading chart of positive people in Jammu and Kashmir with 996 active positive cases in this region. “There is an increase of active cases in Jammu region of 195 in the last 24 hours,” an official said, adding that, “On July 19, the health department figures had reported 801 active positive cases in this region.”

Meanwhile, Jammu region has reported 928 covid positive cases and 677 cases were detected from Jammu district in the last seven days.

As the cases have continued to increase, the Deputy Commissioner, Jammu, Avny Lavasa has ordered making wearing of facemasks mandatory in public places.

“It has become imperative to ensure implementation and observance of all preventive measures such as usage of face masks and maintenance of social distance in all the public places across the district to minimise the spread of covid19 infection,” reads an order issued by the DC Jammu. Similar directions were issued by the Deputy Commissioner, Kishtwar, Ashok Kumar Sharma and Deputy Commissioner, Kathua, Rahul Pandey and they too asked the people to follow the covid guidelines and wear face masks.

In this regard, it was advised to the general public and all stakeholders to ensure wearing of facemasks in all public places. “The colleges, schools, multiplexes, hotels, banks, markets etcs shall also edhere to the guidelines,” the order reads.

Meanwhile, it was also ordered to the district / sectoral officers to ensure wearing of face masks by all the officers/officials in their respective offices.

Pertinently during routine sampling, the health department has detected three positive cases from civil secretariat Jammu. To collect samples, the health department has also mobilized ‘mobile ban to collect samples from various areas of Jammu i.e., Akhnoor, Shamachak, Muthi, Budai, Kotbhalwal, Gujjar Nagar, Channi, and other places.

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