Omicron Cases Update: Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Chandigarh Report First Cases

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Omicron cases update: India’s Omicron tally reaches 38 on Sunday as Kerela, Andhra Pradesh and Chandigarh reported their first cases of the new coronavirus variant. The information regarding the severity of the Omicron variant is vague but the country remains on high alert. The states of Maharashtra and Karnataka too contributed to the rising Omicron tally, with one new case each.

A 20-year-old young vaccinated man from Chandigarh, who returned from Italy after visiting his family on November 22, 2021, was sent in for institutional quarantine after he tested positive for COVID-19on December 1, 2021. Recently, after his samples were sent for genome sequencing it was confirmed he had been infected by the Omicron variant. The patient was asymptomatic and vaccinated with Pfizer in Italy.

Additionally, his seven high-risk family contacts were also put in isolation. Of these, five people have tested positive for COVID-19. However, it is not clear as of yet, whether or not they have been infected by the Omicron variant.

In Kerala, a man who came back to India from the United Kingdom via Abu Dhabi on December 6, 2021, was tested negative at Kochi airport, but later, when he took the test for a second time when he began experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. His test has also come back positive of the Omicron variant now.

Suggested Reading: Omicron May Cause Increased Reinfection, But Milder Disease: WHO

The patient’s wife and mother have also tested COVID-19 positive.  The authorities in Kerala have informed all the 149 passengers that travelled with the patient on flight about the diagnosis.

A 34-year-old man who returned from Ireland via Mumbai tested positive for Omicron in Vishakapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, raising concerns in the state.

The other states that have reported Omicron cases are Karnataka, Maharashtra, Delhi, Rajasthan, and Gujrat. Maharashtra is leading the tally with 18 Omicron cases, one of which was reported on December 12.

The new coronavirus variant has spread to more than 60 countries, including Canada, United States, Germany, Austria, Belgium, France and the United Kingdom. While the variant was first flagged by scientists in South Africa, it is said to have originated in Botswana- a landlocked nation of Africa. On November 26, Omicron was declared as a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organisation. And then on December 2, India detected its first two cases of the variant.

To control the spread of the variant, a two-day ban on large gatherings was implemented in Mumbai on December 11 and 12. Read more on that here.