As the number of countries where the new coronavirus strain has been detected keeps increasing, India joined the list way back when the first case of Omicron was detected in Karnataka. A third case of the ‘Variant of Concern’ has been found in Gujarat as a 72-year-old man returning to Gujarat from Zimbabwe tested COVID-19 positive on Thursday. According to genome sequencing, he is positive of the new variant.
The 72-year-old man is from Jamnagar in Gujarat. According to the Press Trust of India (PTI), Gujarat Health Commissioner Jai Prakash Shivhare has confirmed that the man has tested positive for the new variant.
Cases of Omicron In India:
As soon as the news of a new strain spread out, India had ramped up its testings as well as stricter precautionary measures including rapid vaccination. Although, two cases were found previously in India. One is of a 46-year-old doctor in Bengaluru who is fully vaccinated and has no travel history. The doctor developed symptoms like fever and body ache. The other case was of a 66-year-old South African national who came to India with a negative COVID-19 report.
The variant was first detected by the South African scientist and then classified as the VOC by the World Health Organisation. The WHO had also said that the new variant can evade immunity and has high mutation levels. Although, they asked the countries not to panic but adopt precautionary measures.
The first move in adopting such measures was to increase the screening of international travellers in airports for the new variant, especially for the people coming from ‘at risk’ countries. Despite a stricter measure, the authorities seem to be facing trouble from uncooperative travellers. In Meerut, 13 international travellers gave wrong contact numbers and in Rajasthan, a woman broke quarantine rules by stepping out to socialise in a five-star hotel. This is causing more trouble as the authorities instead of focusing entirely on screening, now also have to chase down these people.