At least seven people who recently returned from the UK have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Telangana. Their samples have been sent to the CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) to find out if they have contracted the new strain of the virus, Telangana health officials said.
On Thursday, state Health Minister Eatala Rajender reviewed the Covid-19 situation in the state and the steps being taken to curb the spread of the disease.
Officials informed the minister that 1,200 passengers had flown to Telangana from or via the UK since from December 9. Covid-19 tests were done on 846 persons.
All flyers from the UK are being monitored, and efforts are on to trace those who were in touch with the virus-infected passengers. Those who tested negative are also being monitored closely, officials told the minister.
Stressing that the new strain of the virus is likely to spread rapidly, the health minister appealed to the public to confine their Christmas, New Year, and Sankranthi celebrations to their homes. He asked them to continue following Covid-19 protocols such as wearing a mask, maintaining physical distancing, and regular washing of hands.
Rajender reiterated that arrangements were being made to provide the vaccine to people as soon as it was available in the state. Arrangements for storage of the vaccine, transportation, and distribution were discussed during the meeting.
As many as 10,000 vaccinators have been trained to administer the vaccine. Each of them is likely to give the jab to 100 people per day so that nearly one million could be vaccinated daily. Plans are afoot to vaccinate 70 to 80 lakh people in the first phase, a press release quoted the minister as saying.
Health, police, municipal, and fire personnel, as well as the elderly, will be vaccinated in the first phase. Rajender said the software was ready to administer a second dose 28 days after administering the first.
During the meeting, authorities were directed to look into cold chain arrangements, mapping of vaccine recipients, training of staff, and other facilities required at vaccine centers.
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