Two more Omicron cases in Maharashtra; India's tally at 23

COVID-19 Omicron variant
A vial and a syringe are seen in front of a displayed stock graph and words "Omicron SARS-CoV-2" in this illustration taken, November 27, 2021. Photo: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

Mumbai: Two more cases of COVID-19 variant Omicron were reported from Maharshtra on Monday, taking the total number of patients in India to 23.

This is the third consecutive day Maharashtra records Omicron cases. The total number of confirmed Omicron cases in the state has gone up to ten now.

A 37-year-old man who arrived here from South Africa's Johannesburg on November 25 has tested positive and also his 36-year-old friend who landed in Mumbai from the US on the same day.

Both patients have not shown symptoms and are admitted to the BMC's Seven Hills Hospital in Andheri east.

The two patients have taken jabs of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine.

Additionally, five high-risk and 315 low-risk contacts of both the men have also been traced and further tracking is underway.

India had reported 17 cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 on Sunday alone - nine persons in Rajasthan capital Jaipur, seven in Maharashtra's Pune district and a fully vaccinated man who arrived in Delhi from Tanzania.

Most of those who tested positive either recently arrived from African countries or were in contact with such people. With this, four states and the national capital have now reported cases of the potentially more contagious variant which has sparked a fresh alert across the world.

The country reported the first two cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 on December 2 in Karnataka – a 66-year-old South African flyer and a 46-year-old Bengaluru doctor with no travel history. Both men are fully vaccinated.

On Saturday, a 72-year-old NRI from Gujarat and a 33-year-old man from Maharashtra's Thane tested positive for the new strain.

The first patient to test positive for Omicron in Delhi is a 37-year-old resident of Ranchi who had travelled from Tanzania to Doha and from there to Delhi on a Qatar Airways flight on December 2. He stayed in Johannesburg, South Africa, for a week, officials told PTI.

Under the new norms, RT-PCR tests are mandatory for passengers arriving from the "at-risk" countries and they will be allowed to leave the airport only after the results come.

According to the Centre, the countries designated as "at-risk" are European countries, including the UK, and South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel.

Also, two percent of the passengers arriving on flights from other countries will be subjected to the test randomly.

The government has intensified the preventive measures in all the international airports and also at the border districts of the state. States are re-tightening preventive measures and ramping up vaccination in the face of the Omicron threat.

(With IANS inputs)

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