Hyderabad: The Union health ministry on Wednesday confirmed that two Omicron cases have been reported in Karnataka.
"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 apt behavior is required," said Balram Bhargava, DG ICMR.
The health ministry said all their contacts have been identified and they are being monitored. All those who tested positive for Omicron have only mild symptoms. In all such cases in the country and across the world, no severe symptom has been noted so far. WHO has said that its emerging evidence is being studied, said Lav Agarwal, the joint secretary of the Union health ministry.
"The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is being carefully examined. We will take decisions on the basis of it. It's an ongoing discussion within our technical and scientific circles," said Dr. V.K Paul, member of NITI Aayog over ban on international flights, booster dose, and pediatric vaccination.
Meanwhile, a 35-year-old woman traveling from the United Kingdom to Hyderabad has tested positive for COVID-19 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, said G. Srinivas Rao, the director of public health (DPH), Telangana. The woman has been isolated at TIMS, Gachibowli, and her sample has been sent for genome sequencing. The woman does not have any symptoms, Dr. Rao said.
"So far, the Omicron variant has not been detected in Telangana. The 35-year-old woman who travelled on a British Airways flight to RGIA Shamshabad has tested positive for COVID-19. Her samples were collected and sent for whole-genome sequencing. Whether she has Omicron or Delta variant will be known only after receiving the genome sequencing results," said Dr. Rao.
Health officials at the airport collected around 325 samples from passengers on the flight in which the woman was traveling. The remaining 324 samples have tested negative. The passengers who traveled with the woman include 239 passengers from Telangana, 72 from Andhra Pradesh, 10 from Maharashtra, two from Madhya Pradesh, and one each from Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.