The number of persons found infected with the Omicron variant of Covid-19 in India increased to 38 on Sunday after one case each was reported from Chandigarh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Kerala, PTI reported.
Chandigarh, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala reported their first cases of the new strain. The infections in Karnataka and Maharashtra were the third and eighteenth cases in the respective states.
The person who tested positive in Andhra Pradesh was a 34-year-old foreign traveller who had arrived in Mumbai from Ireland, ANI reported. The man was allowed to travel to Vishakhapatnam. Later, when he underwent another test in Vizianagaram, he was found to be Covid-19 positive.
The man tested positive for the Omicron variant after his sample was sent for genome sequencing to the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad. On December 11, he tested negative for Covid-19.
The Andhra Pradesh state government has said that 15 travellers have been found Covid-19 positive in the state till now, according to ANI. The samples of all of them were sent to the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology. Out of these, only the 34-year-old man tested positive for the Omicron variant, while the results of five samples are awaited.
The person who tested positive for the Omicron variant in Chandigarh was a 20-year-old man who had recently travelled to India from abroad, PTI reported.
Suman Singh, Director of Health Services, Chandigarh, told the news agency that the man had been living in Italy and had come to India to visit some relatives. “His report for whole genomic sequencing has been received late night on December 11 and has been found positive for Omicron variant,” Singh said.
The 20-year-old man has been fully vaccinated. He is presently in institutional quarantine and is asymptomatic.
Seven of high-risk family contacts were placed in quarantine and were tested for the coronavirus by the RT-PCR method, a government statement added. All of them tested negative.
Karnataka reported its third case of the Omicron variant on Sunday after a 34-year-old man who returned to India from South Africa tested positive for it, state Health Minister K Sudhakar said.
The man is in isolation and is undergoing treatment at a government hospital, the minister added.
Sudhakar said that authorities traced five primary and 15 secondary contacts of the patient, and their samples have been sent for testing.
A 40-year-old man who returned to India from Burkina Faso on December 5 tested positive for the Omicron variant in Nagpur on Sunday, The Times of India reported. This was the first case of the variant in the city.
The man had tested negative for Covid-19 when he arrived from Burkina Faso at the Delhi airport. However, he tested positive for the coronavirus at the Nagpur airport.
The man has been admitted to the city’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences and is asymptomatic.
In all, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation had sent 15 samples to the National Institute of Virology in Pune for genome sequencing. The institute has only released the result of one person till now, the newspaper reported.
Kerala on Sunday confirmed its first case of the Omicron variant, PTI reported, citing state Health Minister Veena George.
George said that the person is a native of Kerala who recently returned from the United Kingdom. The patient’s condition is said to be stable.
The minister urged people not to panic and said that the state government was taking the necessary steps to prevent the transmission of the new variant of the coronavirus.