Karnataka: Local resident with no travel history among two Omicron positive cases

Among the two positive cases of Covid-19’s new and highly contagious Omicron variant detected, one of them is a local resident with no travel history, Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said on Thursday.

India’s first two cases were detected in Karnataka, the Union Health Ministry informed earlier today. 

“2 people found positive for the Omicron variant of COVID19. One person is about a 66-year-old, South African national, who has gone back. Another person is a 46-year-old doctor. He doesn’t have any travel history,” Sudhakar told reporters. 

Out of his (doctor’s) primary and secondary contact, 5 people tested positive for COVID-19, the state health minister added.  

This brings the total to 6 people who are positive. They have been isolated, admitted to govt hospital and none of them showing any serious symptoms. All these people are fully vaccinated, the minister added. 

Sharing details of the Omicron variant cases, BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta said, the first is a 66-year-old male, who is a South African national.

“He had come come here (Bengaluru) on November 20, his samples were collected at the airport and subsequently he tested positive. His samples were sent for genome sequencing the reports of which have come today confirming he was infected by Omicron,” he said.

Further noting that the person was isolated in a hotel, and was subsequently tested separately at another laboratory, during which his reports came negative, the Commissioner said, he left the country for Dubai on November 27, as per his pre-decided schedule.

All his 24 primary contacts and 240 secondary contacts have tested negative, he said, adding that “but they are still kept under watch.”

Regarding the second person, a 46-year-old male, Gupta said, his samples were collected on November 22, following which he tested positive.

As his sample had low cycle threshold (Ct) value it was sent to NCBS lab, and the report has come today as positive, he said. “He was initially kept under home isolation and was subsequently shifted to hospital. He is a local person without any travel history. He is stable and is recovering there are no concerns, he is under watch.”

The second case, who is said to be a Doctor, had got RT-PCR test done after he developed body ache and other symptoms.

His 13 primary contacts and 205 secondary contacts have been tested, Gupta said. “Three primary and two secondary contacts have tested positive, they have been kept under isolations and samples have been sent for sequencing.”

On questions about the South African national, the health minister said, the person who has left for South Africa via Dubai had presented a negative certificate for the virus, from a private lab. His primary and secondary contacts (total 264) were found negative. So it means to say that his certificate may be true. 

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announced on Thursday that two cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus have been detected in India so far. The two cases are of men aged 66-years-old and 46-years-old, explained the Health Ministry.

“Two cases of Omicron detected in Karnataka so far through genome sequencing effort of INSACOG consortium of 37 laboratories established by the Ministry of Health. We need not panic, but awareness is absolutely essential. COVID-19 apt behaviour is required,” said Balram Bhargava, Director Genral, ICMR.

“It is too early to assess whether Omicron causes more severe infection or less compared to variants, including Delta,” the ministry said quoting the World Health Organisation which has designated the new variant as a ‘variant of concern’.

Government sources have told India Today that the two cases of the Omicron variant detected in Karnataka today are not related to each other. 

With agency inputs

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