India has so far reported 32 cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, but none of the patients have reported severe symptoms, the government said on Friday (December 10).
Earlier in the day, joint secretary, health ministry, Luv Agarwal said that 25 cases of Omicron have been detected. By evening, seven more cases were confirmed in Maharashtra. Three of them are from Mumbai and one patient is a three-year-old.
A resident of Dharavi (Mumbai) was found positive for Omicron after returning from Tanzania. Maharashtra’s Omicron tally has now reached 11 with 7 cases from Pune. Notably, Tanzania does not figure in the list of ‘at-risk’ countries. The Dharavi man tested positive during compulsory random checking at the Mumbai airport.
Dharavi in Mumbai is known as the biggest slum in Asia where over six lakh people live in a 2.5 square km area.
Since December 1, 93 international passengers have tested positive for COVID-19. Of these, 83 are from countries that have been designated ‘at-risk’ given the Omicron breakout and 13 from other countries, Agarwal said, adding that 59 countries have reported Omicron cases so far.
“Two countries had reported Omicron cases till November 24th. Now, 59 countries have reported cases of Omicron. These 59 countries have reported 2,936 Omicron cases. Besides this, 78,054 probable cases have also been detected – their genome sequencing is underway,” the official said.
Gujarat Man’s Wife, Brother-In-Law Test Positive
Meanwhile, Gujarat now has three patients of the Omicron variant, as the wife and brother-in-law of an NRI man who had been found infected with the variant a week ago also tested positive.
The Jamnagar Municipal Corporation reported about the news cases on Friday. “Genome sequencing of swab samples at the Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre in Gandhinagar has established that both the COVID-19 patients were also infected with the Omicron variant,” officials were quoted as saying in media reports.
A JMC note said the patients had been shifted to a special Omicron Ward created in the state-run Guru Gobind Singh Government Hospital.
Officials have conducted the exercise of administering vaccines to people in the area who have not taken the first or second dose till date, the release added.
However, no other family member or students who used to visit the house of the brother-in-law for tuitions, tested positive for COVID during the contact-tracing exercise.
Detected in Africa last month, Omicron is in the news as it is believed to be more contagious than other COVID strains and has been declared a “variant of concern” by the WHO.
Gujarat’s first Omicron patient, the 72-year-old NRI man, had arrived from Zimbabwe – one of the countries categorised as ‘at-risk’ by the central government. He was found infected with the Omicron strain on December 4.
Following the diagnosis, the JMC had declared the society in which the family resides a micro-containment zone and restricted the movement of people.
(With inputs from Agencies)