First 3 Omicron cases confirmed in Jammu; UT reports 104 Covid infections


Three Jammu areas declared Micro Containment Zones


Jammu: Three cases of Omicron variant were confirmed here, Jammu and Kashmir’s Health and Medical Education Department said on Tuesday, adding that 104 fresh Covid cases have also been reported across the Union Territory.
Officials said the three have no foreign history and their condition is stable .
“Three Omicron cases confirmed by NCDC, Delhi from a cluster in Jammu. Sample taken on 30th November. RTPCR testing of the entire locality ordered,” the department wrote on its official Twitter handle.
It asked people to observe COVID-appropriate behaviour for their safety.
Principal Government Medical College, Jammu, Shashi Sudan said two of the patients were from Talab Tiloo and another is a resident of Ban Talab area in Jammu.

‘Activate’ war rooms, emergency centres: Govt to states, UTs

New Delhi: Asserting that the Omicron variant is at least thrice more transmissible than Delta, the Centre Tuesday asked states and union territories to “activate” war rooms, keep analyzing even small trends and surges and keep taking strict and prompt containment action at district and local levels.
In a letter to the states and union territories, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan advised implementing strategic interventions for containment like imposition of night curfew, strict regulation of large gatherings, curtailing numbers in marriages and funerals besides increasing testing and surveillance.
The letter highlights measures that need to be taken in view of initial signs of surge in cases of COVID-19 as well as increased detection of the variant of concern Omicron in different parts of the country.
“At the district level there should be constant review of emerging data regarding the population affected by COVID-19, geographical spread, hospital infrastructure and its utilization, manpower, notifying containment zones, enforcement of perimeter of containment zones etc. This evidence should be the basis for effective decision making at the district level itself.
“Such a strategy ensures that infection is contained at the local level itself before it spreads to other parts of the state,” Bhushan said in the letter.
“Kindly activate the war rooms/EOCs (emergency operation centres) and keep analyzing all trends and surges, no matter how small and keep taking proactive action at the district/local level. Regular reviews with field officers and proactive action in this regard will definitely control the spread of infection and flatten the curve,” he said.
In case of all new clusters of Covid positive cases, prompt notification of “containment zones”, “buffer zones” should be done, strict perimeter control of containment zone according to extant guidelines must be ensured.
All cluster samples must be sent to INSACOG Labs for Genome Sequencing without delay, Bhushan underlined.
The letter highlighted that test positivity of 10 per cent or more in the last one week or bed occupancy of 40 per cent or more on oxygen supported or ICU beds should be main elements of the framework to be used by states and union territories to facilitate decision making at the district level.
“Based on current scientific evidence, the VOC (variant of concern) Omicron is at least 3 times more transmissible than the Delta VOC. Besides, the Delta VOC is still present in different parts of the country.
“Hence, even greater foresight, data analysis, dynamic decision making and strict and prompt containment action is required at the local and district level. The decision making at the state and UT and district level must be very prompt and focussed,” he said.
Listing some of the strategic areas of intervention focusing on containment, test, track, surveillance, clinical management to be taken, Bhushan asked states and union territories to ensure door to door case search, testing of all SARI/ILI and vulnerable/co-morbid people and right proportion of RT PCR tests in total tests being conducted daily.
Contact tracing of all Covid positive persons and utilizing the access to “AIR SUVIDHA Portal by State Surveillance Officers (SSOS) and District Surveillance Officers (DSOS) to monitor the international passengers who have arrived in their states and districts was also stressed.
States and union territories have been asked to increase bed capacity, other logistics like ambulances, mechanism for seamless shifting of patients, availability and operational readiness of oxygen equipment, buffer stock of drugs to be ensured by prompt utilization of Emergency Covid Response Package (ECRP-II) funds released by central government and other available resources etc.
The existing National Clinical Management Protocol remains unchanged for Omicron, the letter stated.
“Ensure stringent enforcement of home isolation as per extant guidelines. This would include among others: customized kit for persons undergoing home isolation, their regular monitoring through call centres as well as home visits etc. This will be a very critical activity in the days to come specially to ensure that persons under home isolation do not spread the virus to others in view of its higher transmissibility,” the letter underlined.
The states and union territories have been asked to ensure 100 per cent coverage of left out first and second dose eligible beneficiaries in an accelerated manner. Special focus to be given to those districts where the first second dose coverage is less than the national average, the letter stated, adding the door-to-door vaccination campaign need to be strengthened.
They have also been asked to ensure advance engagement and information so that there is no misinformation or panic, transparent communication on hospital and testing infrastructure availability, regular press briefings etc.
“Participation of community backed by strict enforcement is necessary for ensuring Covid appropriate behaviour,” the letter said.

“The condition of all the three patients is stable,” she said, adding that they have no travel history abroad.
The officials said all the close contacts of the three Omicron patients were identified and tested over the past three weeks.
They asked the people to observe Covid-appropriate behaviour.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir recorded 104 fresh Covid cases, taking the infection tally to 3,40,036, while one fresh fatality due to the virus was reported from the Union Territory in the past 24 hours, officials said.
Out of the fresh cases, 26 were from the Jammu division and 78 from the Kashmir division of the Union Territory, the officials said.
Srinagar district recorded the highest of 40 cases followed by 18 cases in Jammu district.
There are 1,327 active cases in the Union Territory, while the number of recovered patients was 3,34,195, the officials said. The death toll in the Union Territory due to the pandemic was 4,514 as one fresh death was reported in the past 24 hours.
The officials said there were 50 confirmed cases of mucormycosis (black fungus) in the Union Territory as no fresh case was reported since Monday evening.
In a related development, District Magistrate (DM) Jammu, Anshul Garg has declared Lane near Walnut Factory, Sanjay Nagar Jammu of Tehsil Jammu South falling under Police Station Gandhi Nagar, Lane near park at Sector No 4, Roop Nagar Jammu of Tehsil Jammu North falling under Police Station Janipur and Lane near Easy Day Sector No 2, Ext Trikuta Nagar, Jammu of Tehsil Bahu falling under Police Station Trikura Nagar, as Micro Containment Zones in view of the situation emerging due to COVID-19,, according to an official handout.
As per order issued by DM Jammu, the aforesaid areas shall be under strict lock down and tight perimeter control, except for essential needs.
“There shall be no movement, whatsoever, in and out of the Micro Containment zones and for any medical emergency, individuals can contact the 24X7 control room at 0191-2571616, 0191-2571912 and necessary facilitation shall be done,” the order stated.
“It shall be mandatory for the persons residing in designated Containment Zones to get themselves tested and any refusal in this regard shall invite action including filing of FIR under relevant provisions of Disaster Management Act,” it stated and added, “The Magistrate and SHO concerned of the areas shall ensure that 100% sampling and testing is done.”
It is further ordered that the concerned Tehsildars shall be the overall incharges for enforcement of Micro Containment SOPs in the notified zones.
Chief Medical Officer, Jammu shall ensure deployment of sufficient teams for sampling and surveillance of the designated zones. He shall ensure contact tracing of positives and their testing as per the SOP.
“Any violation of this order shall invite punitive action under section 188 of Indian Penal Code and other relevant sections of Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and the Disaster Management Act, 2005,” the order stated.