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76 Omicron cases indicate community spread: Minister
 
Chennai: Tamil Nadu Minister Ma Subramanian said the 76 cases of Omicron on Friday was an indication of community spread of the coronavirus strain in the State and that vaccination was the only solution to prevent its further spread.

The Minister for Medical and Family Welfare, talking to reporters here, said 34 students, including 10 girls, have tested Covid-19 positive in Chennai and were under treatment at a Covid Care Centre.

"Today, we announced 76 new Omicron cases. This is an indication of the community spread of the virus. The satisfying news we receive is that those who are affected by Omicron have tested negative after four days of treatment and were discharged from hospitals after recovery," he said.

According to a bulletin, the overall Omicron cases in Tamil Nadu stands at 120 of which 66 discharged leaving 52 active cases. Two of the cases have been notified to Kerala and Puducherry.

Subramanian said the 34 students were taking coaching for the national eligibility-cum-entrance test (NEET) and after one student was identified to be infected by Covid-19, 90 of his primary and secondary contacts were traced and tested by the officials of Greater Chennai Corporation.

"Of this, 34 of them tested positive. Two of the students were admitted to hospital, while 32 of them are under treatment in the Covid Care Centre at Injambakkam. They are staying in ventilated rooms and are well taken care of by the Greater Chennai Corporation," he said.

Stating that the Delta and Omicron variants of Covid-19 were spreading fast, he said getting vaccinated was the only solution to fight the pandemic and appealed to people to receive the jabs.

"Of the total population, 86 per cent have received single dose of vaccination while 58 per cent of those have received second dose as well. Another 94 lakh people are awaiting to receive the second dose," he said.

On January 2, the 17th edition of mega vaccination camp would be held, he said and asked those who are eligible to receive the vaccination to make use of the opportunity.

To a query, he said Chief Minister M K Stalin would inaugurate the administering of vaccine exercise to 15 and 18 years old at a government school in Porur on January 3. "Around 1,000 students are eligible to receive the jabs. Chief Minister will inaugurate it on Monday and from that day, the Health Department will trace who are eligible to receive the vaccinations between the 15 and 18 years age group and would administer the vaccine," he said.

To another query, he said the health lab in Tamil Nadu has received the approval from the Centre to perform the genomic sequencing analysis.

"With this, we do not require the samples to be sent to Pune or Bengaluru for getting the results. We will be able to declare the results from our own lab," he said.


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