Health officials in Prakasam on tenterhooks

17 of 1,696 foreign returnees tested positive for COVID-19

Health professionals in Prakasam district have stepped up surveillance in Ongole and Chirala in the wake of detection of Omicron variant cases among foreign returnees.

Seventeen of of 1,696 foreign returnees, who have been subjected to testing, have tested positive for COVID-19. One of the primary contacts of a foreign returnee had also tested positive for the virus, according to COVID Management Centre Coordinator B.Thirumala Rao.

All the COVID positive samples had been sent to the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, for genome sequencing. Cluster containment strategy has been unveiled in Cloughpet in Ongole and also Zakavaripet in Chirala. The health condition of foreign returnees was being closely observed by restricting themselves to their homes.

Even as COVID cases spiked elsewhere in the country signalling the beginning of the third wave, the active cases dipped to a new low of 21 in Prakasam district on Tuesday. The health situation in the district now is well under control, according District Medical and Health Officer P.Ratnavalli.

Only two persons contracted the disease in the last 24 hours ending 9 a.m. on Tuesday, a health bulletin compiled by the State Government said. The recovery rate improved to 99.17% in the district, which witnessed a maximum of 20,000-plus cases in May 2021. Over 1.37 lakh people have been recovered from the virus in the district so far.

Meanwhile, the vaccination drive picked up pace as about 53,000 persons in the age group of 15 to 18 years took the jab on Monday and Tuesday. Dr. Rao said 29.38% of the targetted teenagers were covered in the first two days of the drive.

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