A man in Gujarat’s Jamnagar has tested positive for the Omicron variant of Covid-19, said state health department on Saturday.
The man, 72, had recently returned from Zimbabwe. His sample was sent for genome sequencing after he tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday.
“A person has been found to be Omicron positive in Jamnagar. We have isolated him and are monitoring him. A micro-containment zone has been made where he is living. We will conduct tracing in the area and test people,” said Manoj Aggarwal from the state health department.
The country had detected its first two cases of the Omicron variant from Karnataka earlier this week.
“Two people found positive for the Omicron variant of Covid-19. One person is about 66-years-old and a South African national, who has gone back. Another person is a 46-year-old doctor. He does not have any travel history,” said Karnataka health minister Dr K Sudhakar.
Union health minister Manuskh Mandaviya said on Friday that RT-PCR tests have been done of 16,000 passengers from ‘at risk’ countries and 18 samples have been sent for genome sequencing to determine if they have Omicron variant.
Prior to that, reports had said that 12 patients suspected to be infected with the Omicron strain have been admitted to Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) hospital in Delhi so far.
Of these, eight are confirmed coronavirus patients while four have symptoms like sore throat, fever and history of contact with patients. Their samples have been sent for genome sequencing.
“Four patients are from UK, four from France, two from the Netherlands, one from Belgium and one from Tanzania. Two of the patients are foreign nationals,” said Dr Suresh Kumar, medical director of the LNJP hospital.
The new potentially more contagious B.1.1.529 variant was first reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) from South Africa on 24 November and has been designated as a “Variant of Concern” by the global body.
A “variant of concern” is the WHO’s top category of worrying Covid-19 variants.
To deal with this, several countries have imposed travel restrictions on the southern African nations and local lockdowns as well.
India has also added several countries to the list from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in the country, including post-arrival testing for infection.
According to the Centre, the countries designated as “at-risk” include the UK, South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel.
Travellers from these “at-risk” countries are following additional measures on arrival in India.
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