New Delhi: Two cases of the new Omicron variant of coronavirus have been reported in Karnataka, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday. Further, five contacts of one of the patients have also been found positive for COVID-19. Their samples have been sent for genome sequencing to confirm the strain. “Three primary contacts and two secondary contacts tested positive between November 22 and 25. All are isolated,” the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) said in a statement.
The two confirmed cases of Omicron strain have been found in two men — a South African national aged 66 and one 46-year-old Bengaluru resident.
All their contacts were identified and placed under monitoring, the ministry said earlier, while assuring people that the necessary protocol was being followed and there was no need to panic.
The health ministry further said that at least 29 countries have reported 373 cases of Omicron variant so far. The new strain was first reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by South Africa on November 24.
“Passengers arriving from ‘at risk’ countries need to undergo RT-PCR test on arrival. If found positive for COVID, they’ll be treated under clinical management protocol. If tested negative they’ll follow, home quarantine for 7 days,” said Agarwal.
Addressing the Union Ministry’s press briefing, Agarwal said a surge in COVID-19 cases are being witnessed across the world. “Europe reported 70 per cent of the cases in the world in last one week. In the week ending November 28, around 2.75 lakh new cases and over 31,000 deaths reported in European region.”
However, he made it clear that India has not reported such a surge yet. “In comparison to this, Southeast Asian region that includes India and 11 other countries, reported only 1.2 Lakh cases in last one week – only 3.1 per cent of the cases of the world. A decrease in cases is being reported in the Southeast Asian region.”
On the status of vaccination, he said, “There is an increase in second dose of vaccination. Several initiatives were taken to increase number of vaccination across country. Number of COVID19 cases increasing in Europe region, 70 per cent of global COVID19 cases are reported in the region.”
Kerala and Maharashtra are the two states that have more than 10,000 actives cases, which account for 55 per cent of the cases of the country, he said.