In Andhra Pradesh, a man who returned from Ireland, tested positive for the Omicron strain.
The number of Omicron patients in India ticked up to 38 as five fresh cases surfaced -- one each in Chandigarh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Kerala. For Andhra Pradesh and Chandigarh, these were the first cases.
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Maharashtra's Nagpur has reported its first case of Omicron -- a 40-year-old man who came back from South Africa via Delhi. He tested positive at the airport on December 6 and his genome test report from the National Institute of Virology came today.
This was Maharashtra 18th case of Omicron. To slam brakes on the virus, prohibitory orders banning large gatherings were declared in Mumbai on December 11 and 12.
The patient in Kerala's Ernakulam returned from UK via Abu Dhabi and tested positive on December 8. His wife and mother have also tested positive and all three have been isolated. All 149 passengers in the flight have been identified and informed, the authorities in Kerala have said.
A 20-year-old who came from Italy to visit his relatives in Chandigarh, tested positive for Omicron. After landing on November 22, he was on home quarantine and tested positive for Covid on retesting on December 1. A genome sequencing confirmed Omicron.
The man, who was completely asymptomatic, got fully vaccinated with Pfizer vaccine while in Italy. He is currently in institutional quarantine. His seven high-risk family contacts have been placed in quarantine too. All of them tested negative for Covid in RTPCR test. They were tested again today.
In Andhra Pradesh, a man who returned from Ireland, tested positive for the Omicron strain, which has raised concerns of a fresh outbreak across the world. He is currently in Vishakhapatnam.
States including Delhi, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Gujarat have reported cases of the new COVID-19 variant. Maharashtra has seen the maximum number of cases.
The Indian Council of Medical Research's unit in Assam has developed a new testing kit that can detect Omicron in two hours. This is expected to bring relief to travellers, who are struggling due to the increased wait time for test reports at airports.
Last week, the World Health Organisation warned nations in the Asia-Pacific region to boost healthcare capacity and fully vaccinate their people in preparation for a surge.
The Omicron strain, said to be "highly transmissible", has spread to at least 59 nations. The UK, Denmark, and South Africa are the top three countries with the highest number of Omicron cases.