The first two cases were reported in Karnataka, followed by one in Jamnagar (Gujarat) and another in Maharashtra.
In Pune, six people from a family in the Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal area — including a 44-year-old woman who landed in Maharashtra on November 24 from Lagos, Nigeria, with her two daughters, aged 12 and 18 — were detected with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Her 45-year-old brother and two of his daughters, aged 7 and 18 months old, have also tested positive for the Omicron variant after a genome sequencing conducted at the National Institute of Virology, Pune. All the three infected adults in the family are fully vaccinated – two of them with Covishield and one with Covaxin.
While the 44-year-old has mild symptoms, the other five patients are asymptomatic. All the patients are being treated at Jijamata Hospital in Pimpri-Chinchwad and are stable, Rajesh Patil, Municipal Commissioner of Pimpri-Chinchwad, told The Indian Express.
The total number of Omicron positive patients in the state is now 8, Dr Pradeep Vyas, Additional Chief Secretary (health) Maharashtra, told The Indian Express.
“We traced 13 of the close contacts of the three international passengers, of whom three have been identified with Omicron,” said Dr Vyas.
Besides six from the family, a 47-year-old from Pune also tested positive for the Omicron variant. He had visited Finland for six days between November 18 and 25, and was tested after he reported mild fever on November 29, according to Dr Sanjeev Wavare, assistant medical officer, Pune Municipal Corporation. After he was found to be Covid positive, a genome sequencing done at the National Chemical Laboratory confirmed the presence of Omicron. He was fully vaccinated with Covishield.
State Health Minister Rajesh Tope said, “The WHO is studying this variant in detail and we are waiting for the ICMR protocol. We have appealed to citizens not to panic and adopt Covid-appropriate behaviour.”
Pune district collector Rajesh Deshmukh also made a similar appeal.
In Jaipur, nine persons who took part in a wedding on November 28 have tested positive for the Omicron variant, health officials said. Medical Education Secretary Vaibhav Galriya said that of the nine, four had arrived from South Africa a few days ago.
At least 100 people had turned up for the November 28 wedding; health officials have so far collected samples of 34 people. “Of these, Omicron has been confirmed in nine cases through genome sequencing while 25 others tested negative for Covid,” said Galriya.
While the four who flew in from South Africa are admitted at the Rajasthan University of Health Sciences (RUHS), the others are in home isolation. RUHS superintendent Dr Ajeet Singh said the four admitted there are “asymptomatic” and the five in home isolation too “are doing fine”.
The Delhi case is of a man in his 30s who came to the city on a flight from Tanzania and was admitted to Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) Hospital in Delhi after testing positive for Covid at the Indira Gandhi International Airport last week.
“His close contacts during the flight are also isolated at LNJP Hospital. There were 17 Covid patients who were sent from the airport to LNJP (since the new regulations for passengers from ‘at-risk countries’ were put in place). Their contacts – six so far – are also under observation at the hospital and are being tested,” said Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain.
According to officials, the patient who came from Tanzania was fully vaccinated. The 11 other patients who have tested positive for Covid but not the Omicron variant will not be discharged from the hospital. “They will remain under observation for some days for now. At present, none of them is critically ill,” the doctor said.
(With inputs from ENS, Jaipur, Mumbai and New Delhi)
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