December 29, 2021 11:51:11 am
Even as a threat of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 looms large, the Telangana government has issued orders allowing liquor to be served at bars, pubs, hotels, restaurants, and events on the eve of new year’s till 1 am.
Liquor stores and wine shops are allowed to stay open till midnight, according to a memo issued by Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar on Tuesday. These relaxations on the eve of new year’s, however, are subject to observance of SOP for Covid-19, it said.
On December 23, the Telangana High Court had directed the state government to impose curbs on public gatherings during Christmas, New Year, and Sankranti celebrations within three days. Responding to the HC, the Telangana government on December 25 banned rallies and public meetings in the state till January 2 but allowed events including congregations with strict compliance of masks and social distancing. It also directed organisers of these events to arrange for thermal scanners at the entry points. It reiterated the imposition of a fine for strict enforcement of mask rule in public places.
Meanwhile, health minister T Harish Rao Tuesday said that the Covid-19 situation in the state is stable with the current test positivity rate at 0.6 percent. On Tuesday, Telangana recorded seven new cases of the Omicron variant, taking the overall number of cases to 62. According to Rao, 46 of the 62 persons infected with the Omicron variant were not vaccinated. So far, all the 62 patients admitted to Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences (TIMS) for treatment were either asymptomatic or presented mild symptoms. 13 patients have been discharged from the hospital post-recovery.
The day also recorded 228 new infections of Covid-19 and one death, while the total caseload of active patients stands at 3,459. As of date, as many as 6.73 lakh patients have recovered from the disease in the state.
The state also declared itself the first state among big states to achieve 100 percent administration of the first dose of Covid-19 vaccination. The health department now aims to ensure 100 percent vaccine coverage of eligible 2.77 crore population by the second or third week of January, the minister said.
The state is also staring at a possible community transmission of the Omicron variant of Coronavirus as three cases of the Omicron cases detected on Tuesday had no history of international travel or contact with already detected patients. Officials are yet to trace the source of Omicron infection in the case of a pregnant woman, a software professional, and a lab technician.
Since December 1, as many as 11,921 passengers who arrived from ‘at-risk’ countries have been screened for Covid-19 at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad. Of the 113 passengers from ‘at-risk’ countries who were found positive for Covid-19, only 6 have been found positive for the Omicron variant, according to the health department’s latest daily bulletin. Among all the cases, four persons who have been tested positive for the Omicron variant are contacts of earlier diagnosed patients.
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