Five cases of the Omicron variant were reported from educational institutes in Dakshina Kannada, in students aged between 13 and 18 years who had no travel history.

A man getting a COVIF-19 test from a health worker in a PPE suit and mask
news Omicron Monday, December 20, 2021 - 09:08

The number of Omicron cases detected in Karnataka is climbing higher, with five new cases of the variant being detected in the state. Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said on Monday, December 20, that five new cases from Bhadravati, Dharwad, Udupi and Mangaluru have been newly detected. With this, Karnataka’s Omicron tally now stands at 19.

The development comes a day after six cases of the Omicron variant were reported in the state. Five of these cases were from two COVID-19 clusters in educational institutions in Bantwal and Mangaluru in Dakshina Kannada district. The patients are all aged between 13 and 18 years, and are asymptomatic, according to officials. None of them had any history of international travel, they added. The patients were all isolated and have recovered. The sixth case of Omicron infection was reported in an 18-year-old woman who arrived at the Bengaluru airport from the UK on December 10, where she tested positive for the coronavirus. Her samples were sent for genome sequencing, where the Omicron variant was detected on Saturday, December 18. She is currently in isolation at the designated hospital in Bengaluru, and 19 of her primary and secondary contacts have tested negative for the virus.

India’s Omicron count now stands at 158. According to Union and state officials, Omicron cases have been detected in 11 states and union territories – Maharashtra (54), Delhi (22), Rajasthan (17) and Karnataka (19), Telangana (20), Gujarat (11), Kerala (11), Andhra Pradesh (1), Chandigarh (1), Tamil Nadu (1) and West Bengal (1).

As the number of Omicron cases in Karnataka continues to grow, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) said that it is mulling putting restrictions in place for New Year’s celebrations in the city. The TAC has reportedly recommended that large and small gatherings be prohibited in establishments where New Year’s celebrations would be held. However, there has been no official announcement by the state government. 

Read: Night curfew in Bengaluru on New Year's Eve? Karnataka govt mulls decision