With the daily COVID-19 caseload rising in Uttarakhand amid reports of the new variant Omicron spreading in different countries, social activist Anoop Nautiyal on Monday suggested five measures to the state government for tackling the situation. The five steps suggested by Nautiyal include intensifying the anti-COVID vaccination drive to cover the entire population of the state as fast as possible, stepping up testing, resumption of contact tracing, tightening surveillance and testing at the borders besides a renewed emphasis on COVID-appropriate behaviour.
“In the light of Omicron, my suggestion is to vaccinate the remaining population (in Uttarakhand) of 30 lakh people on a war footing, ramp up testing three times more than the current level of 8,000 per day, restart contact tracing, tighten surveillance and testing at the state’s borders and emphasise COVID-appropriate behaviour, leading by example," Nautiyal said. Uttarakhand reported 36 cases on Sunday out of which 19 were from Pauri district alone, followed by Nainital with seven cases, Dehradun which recorded five, Haridwar and Udham Singh Nagar districts two each and Almora one.
Expressing concern over the rise in cases, Nautiyal who runs an NGO named Social Development for Communities Foundation said that this is the highest daily pandemic tally in the state after two-and-a-half months. On September 15 earlier in the year, 49 cases were reported in a single day. The positivity rate recorded on Sunday was 0.67 per cent which was 4-5 times higher than the past few days.
Eleven out of a total of 48 Indian Forest Service officers who had gone from the Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy (IGNFA) here to Lucknow for a mid-career training programme had tested positive for COVID-19 on their return last week. They have been kept in isolation at IGNFA’s old hostel that has been converted into a coronavirus micro-containment zone.
The Forest Research Institute on whose campus the IGNFA hostel is situated has also been shut for visitors till December 5.