Third COVID wave in Bihar has begun: Nitish

Patna: A day after Bihar reported its first Omicron case, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday said that the third wave of COVID-19 has begun in the state and urged people to remain vigilant.

He also mooted opening a genome sequencing laboratory in the state.

“Bihar has recorded the first Omicron case. Everyone has to be alert. The state is witnessing a sharp rise in cases, with the maximum being registered in Patna and Gaya. A large number of people from other states reside in these two places, and this could be a reason behind the spike in cases in these areas,” he told reporters.

“The third COVID wave has begun in the state. We are fully prepared to tackle this wave. The health department has upgraded hospital infrastructure,” Kumar said.

The chief minister said that a review meeting will soon be convened to assess the situation, and the possibility of imposing curbs will be discussed.

“People from outside the state are being tested for COVID-19, and if anyone’s result is returning positive, his/her samples are being sent to Delhi for genome sequencing. We will discuss in the review meeting on opening a genome sequencing laboratory in the state,” Kumar said.

A senior health official said that the Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS) at Patna already has the required permission to open a genome sequencing laboratory.

The first case of the Omicron strain was detected in Patna on Thursday. The 26-year-old patient, a resident of Kidwaipuri locality of the state capital, had recently returned from Delhi. Bihar registered 100 COVID-19 cases on the previous day.