On the fact that one of those infected did not have a recent history of international travel, he said, "The way the virus is intermingling, there could be potential points at which there could have been some form of interaction with a foreign traveller."
Ruling out that the Omicron strain may have entered Bengaluru earlier, he said the authorities were "very, very vigilant" and that there is "no way we got Omicron retrospectively".
Asked if the state may see further restrictions, Dr Rao said curbs may be inevitable to stem a surge in cases. "Karnataka has been able to keep the percentage phenomenally below 1%. They have a daunting task to maintain this. No matter what investment is done on healthcare systems, ventilators, oxygen, this approach (curbs) would be much smarter and safer."
On the role the citizens can play in preventing a spike, he said a shutdown is "the last approach of enforcement". "The citizens' role is pivotal to come forward and take responsibility and ensure Covid-appropriate behaviour," Dr Rao said.
Asked if this could be the beginning of the third wave of Covid cases in India, Dr Rao said there are no such indications. "As of now, no indications are there that this is the third wave. But this is a signal for people to say, the war is far from over. Let us not make any premature claims of victory at this juncture," he said.
Bengaluru: Amid concern over two cases of Omicron detected in Karnataka, NDTV spoke to Dr Vishal Rao, member of the Genomic Surveillance Committee of the state Covid Task Force, on how the Bengaluru doctor may have been infected and the way ahead.