According to the city’s Covid-19 nodal officer, whole genome sequencing of a 71-year-old man who arrived in Gujarat’s Jamnagar city from Zimbabwe and tested positive for Covid-19 on December 2 revealed that the patient is infected with the Omicron variant.
The patient’s samples were sent to two different labs: one to Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre, which found the Omicron variant, and another to NIV Pune. NIV’s whole genome sequencing report is still pending.
This is the third case of Omicron found in India. Two people in Karnataka, a 46-year-old doctor and a 66-year-old South African national, were discovered to be infected with the new variant earlier this week.
Meanwhile, the Centre has stated that due to the rapid pace of vaccination and high exposure to the Delta variant, it expects the severity of the Omicron variant of coronavirus to be low in the country, and that a decision on a Covid vaccine booster dose will be made based on scientific advice from experts. This follows the discovery of the first two cases of the new variant in Karnataka.
Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said in Parliament on Friday that RT-PCR tests had been performed on over 16,000 passengers arriving on 58 flights from “at-risk” countries. 18 of them have tested positive for Covid-19 so far.
He also stated that the decision on booster doses and Covid jabs for children will be made based on expert scientific advice.
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