Hyderabad: The state health department on Sunday, amidst concerns over entry of the Omicron variant of the Coronavirus into Telangana state, warned of a very likely surge in Covid-19 cases in the state saying “cases may go up in the state after January 15”.
Indicating the coming of a next wave of Covid-19 cases in the state, director of public health and family welfare G. Srinivasa Rao told reporters that it was likely that the state will see the cases peaking in February.
Answering a question if cases caused by the Omicron variant have been found in the state, he said, “Don’t be surprised if we find them.”
Srinivasa Rao said, “The virus is invisible. It could be there already. The two Omicron cases found in Bengaluru were people who were in that city before the World Health Organisation announced that Omicron was found and was a variant of concern.”
He said South Africa, where the variant was first discovered was seeing a 16-fold surge in cases, and other countries where the variant spread were also reporting higher cases.
Making it clear that there will be no lockdowns in the state, he said: “Lockdowns are not a solution. The next four to six weeks are critical. Following safety norms, mask compliance and staying away from crowded places, or avoiding crowds is a must during this period.”
On following safety protocols, he said this was particularly important since 70 per cent to 72 per cent of all known Covid-19 cases in the state were asymptomatic, and such individuals can easily spread the disease to those who are vulnerable to fall very sick.
Dr Srinivasa Rao urged people to get vaccinated saying some 23 lakh people were yet to take their first dose while another 79 lakh need to get their second dose. The Health Minister has also written to the Centre seeking emergency use authorization for vaccinating children and we are hoping for a favourable response in the next couple of days or so, he said....