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Amaravati: The health authorities in Andhra Pradesh are sending 15 per cent of Covid-19 positive samples for genome sequencing in view of the new variant Omicron, which has been reported in some countries.

The health officials said the samples were being sent to the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) for genomic sequence to identify this variant.

The medical and health department is also taking steps to set up a genome sequencing lab in Vijayawada.

Meanwhile, the authorities are laying special focus on people arriving from South Africa, Botswana and Hong Kong.

At a review meeting held on Monday by Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on the prevailing Covid situation in wake of the new variant, he directed the officials to set up special medical teams at airports of Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad and screen people who are arriving in Andhra Pradesh. The chief minister asked them to conduct only RT-PCR tests and avoid rapid antigen tests.

The officials pointed out that Omicron has been mutating and spreading fast and research is being conducted in various countries on this variant.

The chief minister directed the officials to expedite the vaccination process and complete it by fixing targets. He asked them to start a drive on using masks, ensure that there are no mass gatherings and also continue door to door fever survey and vaccination.

He also wanted officials to check the facilities in the hospitals used to treat Covid patients in the past and also to ensure facilities in empaneled hospitals. He directed the officials to inspect quarantine centers, Covid care centers and Covid call centers once again.

Jagan Mohan directed the officials to keep a target to complete two crore doses of vaccination by the end of December and said to focus on the districts where the process is slow. He suggested the officials conduct mock drills of Oxygen Generation Plants in all hospitals.

The officials informed the chief minister recovery rate in Andhra Pradesh is 99.20 and positivity rate is 0.64 per cent. Daily average cases were 197 and total active cases were 2,140.

They said calls to the 104 number were reduced and all preparations were made to tackle the third wave. According to them, there are 8,200 beds in the government hospitals.
The officials also informed Jagan Mohan Reddy that 87.43 per cent of the people have taken the first dose of Covid vaccine and 62.19 per cent have taken both doses. They expect to complete the vaccination process by January.




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