Omicron: Chandigarh, Andhra Pradesh detect first cases, 3rd case in K’taka; India tally now 36

Source: ANI

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Chandigarh [India], December 12: Chandigarh reported its first case of Omicron after swab samples of a fully vaccinated 20-year-old male passenger from Italy, who had tested COVID-19 positive on December 1, revealed the presence of the new variant of the novel coronavirus.

Earlier today, Andhra Pradesh detected its first case of Omicron and Karnataka detected its third case of the new COVID-19 variant. With this, the tally of Omicron cases in India has gone up to 36.

“A 20-year-old male, resident of Italy, had landed in India on November 22. He had come to visit his relatives in Chandigarh. He was under home quarantine and was found COVID-19 positive on retesting on December 1. As per the protocol, he was then put under institutional quarantine. His COVID-19 positive sample was sent for whole-genome sequencing to NCDC, New Delhi,” the Chandigarh Health Department said in a statement.

Seven high-risk family contacts of the man have been put under quarantine and were tested for COVID-19 by RTPCR method, the health department said adding all of them tested as negative.

The traveller was asymptomatic throughout. He had been fully vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine in Italy.

The 20-year-old had been kept in quarantine for 11 days. His report for whole genomic sequencing was received late night on December 11 and was found positive for the Omicron variant.

The Health Department informed that the man had been tested for COVID-19 again today by RT-PCR method and the report is awaited.

“If he is negative he will be put under home quarantine for seven days and if positive, institutional quarantine will continue till negative. His seven high-risk contacts have also been tested again today as a precautionary measure,” the health department said.

Chandigarh health department appealed to the public to follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and urged those eligible for COVID-19 vaccine to get themselves vaccinated soon.

In Andhra Pradesh, a 34-year old foreign traveller from Ireland tested positive for the Omicron variant. He had arrived in Mumbai Airport and upon testing was found negative for Covid-19.

He was allowed to travel and reached Vishakhapatnam on November 27. On conducting re-test at Vizianagaram, the RT-PCR report was found Positive for COVID-19 and testing for genome sequencing found that he was Omicron positive. However, he tested negative for the virus on December 11.

Meanwhile, the third case of Omicron was detected in Karnataka. “A 34-year-old returnee from South Africa has tested positive and is being isolated and being treated in a government hospital. Five primary and 15 secondary contacts traced and their samples sent for testing,” Karnataka Health Minister Dr Sudhakar K said today.

On November 26, the WHO named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa, as ‘Omicron’.

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