Lucknow, November 28: Scaling up preventive measures amid the cases of new ‘Omicron’ variant that have been found in countries like Botswana, South Africa and Hong Kong, the Uttar Pradesh Government as per the guidelines of the Centre has intensified screening and has strengthened surveillance at the airports.

Upgrading its guard against the new variant of SARS CoV2 -- B.1.1.529, which has been classified as a ‘Variant of Concern’ by the WHO, the state government has taken prompt action by putting the health teams in all the 75 districts on alert.

“UP has been maintaining control over the Covid situation fairly well. While there is no situation at present which warrants panic or worry, our citizens should be more mindful about maintaining all universal precautions against COVID – masking, physical distancing and avoiding crowds,” said a government official. How Dangerous is Omicron Variant? South African Medical Association Says COVID-19 New Variant Causes 'Mild Disease'.

The Chief Minister has already asked officials to make special efforts to improve surveillance with a focus on airports to ensure that normalcy prevails in the state.

State Surveillance Officer Vikasendu Agarwal informed that a meeting has been held with DSOs, CMOs, DIOs and health experts of 75 districts of the state. Guidelines have been issued by the state government to ensure thorough screening of Travelers who have returned from abroad within 14 days.

Five Districts on Alert

The state government has instructed to maintain a strict vigil on foreigners coming in large numbers to Agra, Prayagraj, Varanasi, Lucknow and Kanpur. The officers are constantly in touch with the districts regarding this. Along with this, a list of those who have been vaccinated with the first and second dose has been sought.

UP Ramps Up Preparations

Former Head of Department of Pulmonary Medicine of KGMU and Chairman of Department of Pulmonary Medicine of Era’s Medical College Prof Rajendra Prasad informed that the state government has enabled the state to face new challenges by emphasizing on improving health infrastructure.

In a short span of time, the government has equipped UP with health facilities by setting up new oxygen plants, new medical colleges, increasing the number of beds, recruiting doctors, CHC, PHC in the state in view of any future challenges. Omicron Scare: Arvind Kejriwal Writes to PM Narendra Modi to Stop Flight in View of New COVID-19 Variant.

Active Caseload Down to 83

Eliminating the deadly second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, out of the 1,46,396 samples tested in the last 24 hours, 9 samples tested positive for the Covid-19 infection and as a result the Test Positivity Rate (TPR) has slumped to 0.01 percent in Uttar Pradesh. In the same period, another 9 patients also recovered from the infection. The active cases have drastically reduced from a high of 3,10,783 in April to 83 now.

Covid Vaccination: UP Closer to Administering 16 Crore Vaccine Doses

Uttar Pradesh has administered over 15.90 crore vaccine doses so far and that is no small achievement. The impressive pace of COVID vaccination has made Uttar Pradesh ‘the top state’ with the largest population in the country.

UP has set an example in front of other states of the country, besides controlling the infection in a short time. On the other hand, Maharashtra lags with 11.18 crore doses delivered so far.