As international travellers test positive, States on Omicron alert

Our Bureau | | | Updated on: Dec 03, 2021
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57, who landed in Karnataka, ‘missing’

A day after two confirmed Omicron cases were reported from India, several States, including Karnataka, Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu, have reported Covid-19 cases from ‘ät risk’ countries that are being closely watched.

Twelve international travellers were suspected to be Omicron positive in Delhi, a Health Ministry source told BusinessLine , adding that samples of all the Covid positive cases had been sent for genome sequencing. “Of the twelve passengers, four are RT-PCR Covid positive, four RAT test positive and the rest are being tested for Covid,” one source said, adding that seven samples had been sent to an INSACOG-designated lab for genome sequencing. All the Covid positive cases have been admitted to Delhi’s Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital.

Wrong numbers, addresses

In Karnataka, where the first two Omicron cases was reported, concerns are mounting as 57 travellers who came from high-risk countries have gone missing after furnishing false phone numbers and incorrect addresses. Efforts are on to trace them.

The ‘missing’ 57 include, 10 South Africa nationals who arrived in the country between November 12 and 22, and are now not traceable with their phones switched off and having furnished either false or incorrect addresses.

Low severity

Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya told Parliament on Friday that RT-PCR tests had been conducted on 16,000 passengers from 'at risk' countries; of them, 18 had tested positive for Covid-19, according to agency reports. The Health Ministry also indicated that it expected the severity of the disease to be low.

Looking to chart the road ahead, the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium met on Friday. It had recently suggested that people over 40 be given a booster shot.

‘No Omicron in TN’

Tamil Nadu Health Minister M Subramaniam clarified that there was no Omicron case in the State, dismissing unconfirmed social media information that one case each was reported in Tiruchi and Chennai.

At Tiruchi, a passenger who arrived from Singapore reported positive for Covid and was quarantined at the government hospital. The person’s sample will be sent for Whole Genome Sequencing at the government’s new lab in Chennai, and also to a private lab in Bengaluru. In Chennai airport, a 10-year-old tested positive, and has been quarantined with the family at Kings Institute. In Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Gujarat, authorities said samples from international travellers from ‘at risk’ countries who had tested Covid-19 positive, had been sent for genome sequencing to ascertain the variant.

Published on December 03, 2021

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