Chennai: The Tamil Nadu health department is on high alert after a person tested positive for the Omicron variant of Covid-19 in Saudi Arabia.
The development has rung warning bells in Tamil Nadu, as many people from the southern state stay in Saudi Arabia, who frequently travel back to their home state.
According to the officials, the person — whose identity has not been revealed by the Saudi authorities — had been to one of the African countries recently.
While Saudi Arabia has already banned flight services from many African nations, it has been learnt from the sources that the person who tested positive had arrived in Dubai before the ban on flights from African nations was imposed.
While sources in the Tamil Nadu health department denied any detection of Omicron cases in the state, the department is taking extra precautions to ensure no one in the state gets infected with the new variant.
Tamil Nadu has several people working in Saudi Arabia and the new Omicron case is of a person who had reached that country a few days before.
The state health department is not taking any chances and has opened several counters for RT-PCR tests at the Chennai International Airport.
Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian told IANS: “It is not that there is any threat, but we are taking precautions as the Gulf countries have a good connect with Tamil Nadu and many other parts of south India.”
The government is also ramping up the vaccination drive by conducting door-to-door campaigning. The health secretary has directed the medical officials to try and vaccinate as many people as possible.