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BA.5 variant of Omicron: Gujarat’s first case detected in NRI who visited Vadodara

The 29-year-old man, however, returned to South Africa after testing negative for Covid-19 on May 9.

The man, who was visiting the city to meet his parents, was tested for Covid-19 on May 1 after showing symptoms. (File)

Gujarat’s first case of the BA.5 variant of Omicron has been detected in a 29-year-old man who arrived in Vadodara from South Africa in the first week of May, the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) said Tuesday.

The man, who was visiting the city to meet his parents, was tested for Covid-19 on May 1 after showing symptoms. According to health officials with the VMC, his sample was sent for genome sequencing.

The man, however, returned to South Africa after testing negative for Covid-19 on May 9. The report of the genome sequencing of his sample arrived on Tuesday and indicated that he was indeed carrying the BA.5 variant of Omicron.

Officials added that since the man had been in quarantine after his arrival, his close contacts have not shown symptoms or tested positive for Covid-19.

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INSACOG, India’s Covid-19 genomic sequencing consortium, had earlier confirmed the first case of the BA.5 sub-variant of Omicron in the country in an 80-year-old man from Telangana who had no history of international travel. The consortium also officially confirmed two cases of BA.4 – one from Hyderabad and one from Tamil Nadu. The case from Hyderabad was detected in a South African traveller during sampling at the airport. The case from Tamil Nadu was in a 19-year-old woman with no history of international travel.

The BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants of Omicron had led to the fifth wave of Covid-19 cases in South Africa. It has since been detected in several European countries and the United States.

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