- First cases of the new variant named Omicron has been detected in Karnataka among two 46 and 66-year-old males.
- Three primary and two secondary contacts of the 46-year old have tested positive for Omicron.
- The 66-year old was a South African with a travel history. He tested negative later and flew out on 27th November for Dubai
The new variant of COvid-19, Omicron was initially detected in South Africa on November 23rd. The virus has reportedly found its way to India which is evident by the first two cases of the virus which have been identified in Karnataka among two males aged, 46 and 66 years. This was revealed by the Union Health Ministry on December 2nd.
All contacts (primary and secondary) of the infected patients, have been traced and are currently undergoing testing, as communicated by Lav Agrawal, Joint Secretary of Union Health Ministry. The symptoms exhibited by both the patients were mild in nature and they are currently being monitored with adherence to protocols. Reports from genome sequencing had confirmed the presence of Omicron.
State Health Minister, Dr K Sudhakar mentioned that the 66-year old was a South African, who had tested positive for the virus on November 20th. His 24 primary contacts and 240 secondary contacts tested negative for the new variant but are still kept under observation. The South African has now gone back after testing negative. The 46-year old tested positive for Omicron on 22nd November. He had 13 primary contacts and 205 secondary contacts. All of them have been tested and out of them, 2 secondary contacts and 3 primary contacts have tested positive. Municipal Commissioner, Gaurav Gupta communicated that they have been kept in isolation and that their sample reports have been sent for genome sequencing.
Director-General of the ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research), Balram Bhargava had initially confirmed the two cases of Omicron virus in Karnataka through genome sequencing conducted by the INSACOG (Indian SARS-Cov-2 Genomics Consortium) established by the Ministry of Health.
Until now, 373 cases of the Omicron virus have been reported from around 29 countries. The virus has been termed as a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organisation. Union Health Minister, Mansukh Mandaviya states that the covid situation in India is under control so far, however, urges people to adhere to covid appropriate behaviour.
In light of the emerging risk, numerous governments have shut their borders partially, withheld the resumption of international commercial flights and stepped up testing and tracing. Passengers travelling to India from at-risk countries. Clinical management protocol for treatment would be followed in case they test positive and a 7-day self-quarantine in case of negative results has been mandated.