Telangana reported its first two cases of the Omicron variant on December 15, Wednesday. The cases were detected among passengers arriving at Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. The infected individuals are a 24-year-old woman from Kenya, and a 23-year-old man from Somalia, Telangana Director of Public Health (DPH) G Srinivasa Rao told the media on Wednesday. Both patients had arrived at the airport on December 12, and the genome sequencing results returned on the night of December 14, showing that they were infected with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, the DPH said.
The Kenyan woman was traced to her residence in Tolichowki with the help of police personnel, and has been shifted to the Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (TIMS) in Gachibowli for treatment. Her contacts, who include her uncle and father, were also traced and tested, the DPH said. The Somalian man has also been shifted to TIMS. The DPH also said that both the Omicron patients were asymptomatic.
Both Kenya and Somalia are not on the list of at-risk countries, and the Omicron cases were detected as part of the 2% random samples being collected for genome sequencing from non-at-risk countries, Srinivasa Rao said. A third Omicron case was also detected in a seven-year-old boy, who immediately left for Kolkata after arriving on an international flight at RGIA, without entering Hyderabad, he said. He added that the West Bengal health department has been informed about the case.
On Sunday, December 12, the neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh too detected its first case of the Omicron variant. A 34-year-old man who had travelled from Ireland to Mumbai was initially found to be negative for coronavirus at the Mumbai airport, and was allowed to travel to Visakhapatnam, where he was tested on November 27 and later found to have been infected with the Omicron variant. The state health department said that he had already recovered and did not have any symptoms.