As concerns over the COVID-19 Omicron variant abound, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Wednesday said that the state currently has no intention of stopping international flights.
According to media reports, Tope said that the state is relying on directives from the Centre with regard to stopping international travel.
Tope further said that people do not need to panic about Omicron as the severity of the coronavirus variant is low.
Briefing media persons, Tope said, "There is a total of 10 Omicron cases in Maharashtra till today. About 65 swabs have been sent for genome sequencing, their reports are awaited. Screenings are being conducted at International airports. The Omicron variant is spread over 54 countries so far. Transmissibility is higher. But, the severity or virulence is low. So we do not need to panic."
Asked about the State's strategy to counter the spread, the Health Minister said, "We are working with the 3T Principle - tracking, tracing and testing. For genome sequence, we have currently three labs. We will expand the facility further in Nagpur and Aurangabad."
Meanwhile, India reported nearly two dozen Omicron cases so far. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Wednesday asked all the States to submit all the samples of positive cases of international travellers and their contacts as well as from emerging hotspots.
(With agency inputs)