Amid concern over COVID-19 new variant Omicron, a woman, who was one of 325 passengers who came from abroad to Hyderabad, tested positive for Covid.
However, Srinivas Rao, Director, Public Health and Family Welfare said that it is yet to be confirmed whether she contracted Omicron or any other variant. He said that it could be a delta variant. Her samples have been sent to TIMS for whole-genome sequencing.
"So far, the Omicron variant has not been detected in Telangana. A 35-year-old woman who has come from British Airways to Hyderabad has tested positive for COVID-19. Her samples have been sent to TIMS for whole-genome sequencing. Whether she has Omicron or Delta variant will be known only after receiving the genome sequencing results. We suspect that it is a Delta variant. The results are going to take around 2 or 3 days," Mr Rao said.
"So far there are 325 passengers who have come from other countries by British Airways and Singapore airlines, RT-PCR test has been done of every passenger. The people who are found to be negative have been put under home quarantine, health teams are tracking their health status. Retesting will be done on day 8th day only," he added.
On the issue of vaccination and other COVID-19 protocols to be followed to curb the spread of the virus, Mr Rao said, " There are 25 lakh people are due for the two-dose of corona vaccine, especially 15 lakh are from GHMC area and we request them to take the vaccine as soon as possible. Telangana Health Department has requested enforcement authorities to put a watch on citizens for those not wearing masks."
"We request people to carry their COVID-19 vaccine certificates. Telangana health teams will visit public places and will randomly ask people to show vaccine certificates. This is a precautionary measure that will also create awareness towards vaccination. Our agenda is to safeguard the health and lives of people," he added.
The Centre on Thursday informed that two people have tested positive for the Omicron variant of the coronavirus in Karnataka.
A new variant of COVID-19 was first reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) from South Africa on November 25. As per the WHO, the first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on November 9 this year.
On November 26, the WHO named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa, as Omicron. The WHO has classified Omicron as a 'variant of concern'. Dozens of countries have imposed travel restrictions on the southern African nations since the mutation was discovered.
The new Omicron coronavirus variant has been confirmed in 23 countries and their number is expected to rise, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had said.
India has also added several countries to the list from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in the country, including post-arrival testing for infection.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)