Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh) [India], December 9 (ANI): In view of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant, Andhra Pradesh government hospitals are preparing to combat this new variant as per the instructions of the district collector and government, said Dr Y Kiran Kumar, Superintendent at Government General Hospital, Vijayawada on Wednesday.
Speaking to ANI, Kumar said, "As of now, there is no case of Omicron variant in Andhra Pradesh. But still, the state is preparing to combat the new variant as per the instructions of the district collector and government.""As a precautionary measure, we have reserved 300 beds to handle COVID cases. I appeal to all to follow the COVID appropriate behaviour," Kumar added.
Further, he informed that the state is also making special arrangements for children if the Omicron variant attacks on them.
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.
A new variant of COVID-19 was first reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) from South Africa on November 25.
As per the WHO, the first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on November 9 this year. On November 26, the WHO named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa, as 'Omicron'. The WHO has classified Omicron as a 'variant of concern'.
Dozens of countries have imposed travel restrictions on the southern African nations since the mutation was discovered.
The new Omicron coronavirus variant has been confirmed in 23 countries and their number is expected to rise, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had said.
India has also added several countries to the list from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in the country, including post-arrival testing for infection. (ANI)