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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

4 more Omicron cases in Gujarat take tally to 11

The three new Omicron cases were reported from Gandhinagar, Anand and Surat.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad |
Updated: December 20, 2021 3:15:05 am
COVID-19 Omicron Live News, omicron variant Coronavirus indiaAll three, including a teenager, have a history of international travel.

Four more cases of the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus were reported in Gujarat Sunday taking the total number in the state to 11. Meanwhile, the state reported 51 new cases of infection taking the tally to 8,36,810. While Ahmedabad reported the highest number of cases at 18, Vadodara city had 10 and Surat city six.

The four new Omicron cases were reported from Gandhina-gar, Anand, Rajkot and Surat. While it is the first known Omicron case from Anand, Rajkot and Gandhinagar, it is the second reported from Surat. All four cases, including a teenager, have a history of international travel.

The teenager, a 15-year-old boy, is a UK national who returned to Gandhinagar from London on December 11. “Based on the genome sequencing report received from the Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre (GBRC), the Omicron variant was confirmed yesterday (Saturday),” said Gandhinagar Municipal Commissioner Dhaval Patel. While the boy is under institutional isolation at a private hospital, his family is under home quarantine, the commissioner added.

In Anand, the genome sequencing report of a 48-year-old male returned positive for the newly discovered variant Sunday morning. He had returned from London via Dubai on December 15. “While returning from London after a period of three months, he tested negative onboard but then tested positive when he arrived at the Ahmedabad international airport,” Dr Rakesh Joshi, medical superintendent of Ahmedabad Civil Hospital, told The Indian Express. He is under isolation at the Omicron ward as the first known case of the new variant at Ahmedabad Civil Hospital.

“He is asymptomatic and stable and (there is) no complaint of any sort,” added Dr Joshi.

The third case is of a 39-year-old woman with a travel history to Dubai. She was declared Omicron positive after the genome sequencing report turned up Sunday afternoon.

As per the health department officials, the woman, a fashion designer by profession, along with her two children — an 18-year-old boy and a 19-year-old girl — landed in Surat after a Dubai tour on December 5. All three were fully vaccinated and had tested negative upon landing in Surat airport.

However, on December 8, the woman had fallen ill with cough and cold and sought treatment from a private doctor. After recovering fully, she again booked a flight to Sharjah from Surat.

On December 13, she tested positive in the Covid RTPCR test that the health department carried out at the Surat airport. The woman, who was planning to fly alone to Sharjah, was then sent into home isolation treatment by health officials. Meanwhile, her samples were sent for genome sequencing at GBRC.

“On Sunday, her report came stating she had tested positive for Omicron. Currently, she is under home isolation treatment and her condition is normal. Our teams visited her today and informed her about the Omicron positive report. We told her not to come out of the house and to strictly follow the Covid protocols. Her children have tested negative,” said Dr Ashish Naik, Deputy Health Commissioner of the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC).

The fourth case, reported from Rajkot, is a 23-year-old student from Tanzania who had arrived at RK University near the city. The Tanzanian national had landed in Ahmedabad on December 12 and had reached the university campus the following day with another student. After the varsity notified the arrival of the 23-year-old, the health department of Rajkot district panchayat took his samples on December 14 for Covid-19 tests and the results returned positive. The student was shifted to the Omicron ward of the state government-run Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay (PDU) Government Hospital in Rajkot on December 15 and his samples were sent to GBRC for genome sequencing. The report from GBRC concluded that the virus contracted by the Tanzanian student matches with the Omicron variant, Rajkot district collector Arun Mahesh Babu said Sunday. “We had sent his samples for sequencing on December 15, and we got a confirmation from the lab today. The patient is kept in isolation at the hospital but he is very very stable,” the collector told The Indian Express.

He said 121 students living on the third and fourth floor of the students’ hostel in the RK University campus have been isolated in their hostel rooms even as their RT-PCR tests have returned negative for Covid-19. “These are mostly foreign students and those who hail from Indian states other than Gujarat,” said Dr Nilesh Shah, chief district health officer of Rajkot.

With this, Rajkot became the second district in the Saurashtra region to report Omicron cases. The first case of the new variant in Gujarat was reported from Jamnagar, the district adjacent to Rajkot, earlier this month. However, he and his two relatives have since recovered and been discharged.

Meanwhile, the collector further said another 17-year-old boy from Tanzania and a person with a travel history to Australia have also tested positive for Covid-19. “The boy with a travel history of Tanzania has been admitted to PDU as a suspected case of Omicron. We have sent his samples for genome sequencing. His results are awaited,” Babu said, adding, “The other person is undergoing home isolation as Australia is not a high-risk country for Omicron.”

Dr Lalit Vanja, medical officer of health at Rajkot Municipal Corporation, said the 17-year-old boy is a Jamnagar native. “The family is living in Tanzania but is a native of a village in Jamnagar. They had landed in Gujarat to visit their native place and were put up at a hotel in Rajkot. The boy tested positive for Covid-19 during RT-PCR screening on Saturday,” said Dr Vanja.

At the same time, PDU hospital doctors said the student, as well as the teenager boy, were asymptomatic. “The student is stable as he has no symptoms and all his vitals are normal. Therefore, our doctors are not giving him any medicines but he remains under observation as per protocol. The boy, who is a suspected case of Omicron, is also stable,” said Dr Radheshyam Trivedi, medical superintendent of PDU hospital.

The four new cases were detected two days after two fully-vaccinated senior citizen travellers from Zambia tested positive for the variant in Vadodara city Friday. While one is a female aged 67 years, the second is a 75-year-old male from the Fatehpura area of the city.

They had tested Covid positive on December 12 after arriving from Zambia on December 7 and were in home isolation as per the prevalent guidelines, officials said.

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