A 72-year-old man has been found infected with the Omicron variant of coronavirus in Jamnagar city of Gujarat following his return from Zimbabwe, the state health department said on Saturday, December 4. This is the third case of the Omicron variant detected by Indian authorities. Earlier, two persons had tested positive for this variant in Karnataka.
The sample of the elderly man was sent for genome sequencing, after he tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday, December 3, the Gujarat health department said. Gujarat's Commissioner of Health Jai Prakash Shivhare confirmed that the man was found infected with the Omicron variant. The Omicron strain has been marked as a "variant of concern" by the World Health Organization (WHO). More details on the case are awaited.
On Thursday, December 2, the Union Health Ministry announced that the first two cases of the Omicron variant in India were detected in Karnataka. Those infected included a 66-year-old man with travel history to South Africa, and a 46-year-old man who works as a doctor in Bengaluru. The doctor had no history of travel, and authorities said that they never came in contact with each other. About 218 of the 46-year-old man’s primary and secondary contacts were tested. It was found that three primary contacts -- including the man’s wife and daughter -- and two secondary contacts had tested positive. They are under isolation and observation at the Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital in Bengaluru, which has been designated for treating Omicron patients, and are reportedly recovering well.
"There is no need to panic about Omicron, but awareness is absolutely essential. It is important to get fully vaccinated, people should get both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. People should follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour. Mass gatherings should be avoided," ICMR Director General Dr Balram Bhargav said.
With PTI inputs