Tamil Nadu on alert amid detection of Covid-19 clusters, BA.4 and BA.5 variants
Amid a sharp surge in Covid-19 cases in the state, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Saturday (June 11) said steps should be taken to stem the transmission of the coronavirus, and facilities for the patients should be kept ready. In the wake of the emergence of Covid-19 clusters in Chennai and neighbouring districts, Stalin directed the Health Department officials to test the contacts of those who have tested positive for the coronavirus. Further, the Tamil Nadu CM said in a press release to organise awareness campaigns underlining the need to follow Covid-19 protocols like wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.
Stalin also mentioned that vaccination is the 'only weapon' to combat the coronavirus, adding that his government was stringent in administering jabs to every individual in the state. As many as 93.82 per cent of people have been administered the first dose while 82.94 per cent have received the second dose, the Tamil Nadu CM said.
Tamil Nadu is witnessing a surge in fresh coronavirus infections. On Friday, the southern state logged 219 cases, taking the caseload to 34,56,916 while the death toll remained unchanged at 38,025.
On June 5, Tamil Nadu had reported 12 cases of the Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5. Tamil Nadu Medical and Family Welfare minister Ma Subramanian said out of the 150 samples collected from the state, 12 had tested positive for the Omicron variants- BA.4 (4 cases) and BA.5 (8 cases)- of the coronavirus. While the one case of the BA.4 variant earlier detected in May in Chennai's Navalur had fully recovered.
Meanwhile, Health Department Principal Secretary J Radhakrishnan on Friday said the rise in new cases is due to BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants of Omicron. "We had BA1, BA2, BA 3 variants, but now we have BA4 and BA5 variants. These have the ability to spread. The positive news about the variants is people who are vaccinated recover in two or three days. Symptoms will be mild throat pain and fever for two days... Earlier this variant had spread among educational institutions and later in family functions", he was cited by PTI.