Eight new Omicron cases in India, tally now 61

Omicron variant
Photo: IANS/Representative image

New Delhi/Mumbai: Delhi has reported four more cases of Omicron while eight more persons have tested positive for the COVID-19 variant in Maharashtra on Tuesday, taking the tally in the country to 61.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said all the six people who have so far tested positive for the Omicron variant in the national capital had a history of travelling abroad.

"So far, six people have been found Omicron-positive in the capital. One of them has been discharged. All of them had travelled to foreign countries and were transferred to the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) hospital from the (Indira Gandhi International) airport," Jain told reporters.

The condition of the remaining five Omicron-positive patients is stable, he said.

So far, Maharashtra has reported the highest number of cases at 28, followed by Rajasthan at 17. Omicron cases have also been reported in Karnataka (3), Gujarat (4), Kerala (1) and Andhra Pradesh (1) and Union Territories of Delhi (6) and Chandigarh (1).

Eight new patients were found to be infected with Omicron in Maharashtra, the state health department said citing a report released on Tuesday by the Pune-based National Institute of Virology.

Seven of them were from Mumbai and one from its satellite township of Vasai-Virar, the department said, adding none of the eight had an international travel history.

Seven of these eight persons were vaccinated against coronavirus and their swab samples were taken for testing in the first week of December, it said.

All of them - five men and three women - are in the age group of 24 to 41, the department said.

It said of the eight, three are asymptomatic, while five have mild symptoms of the viral infection.

The bulletin said one of those who have been infected with Omicron had travelled to Bengaluru, while the others had visited New Delhi.

Giving details of the 28 patients detected with Omicron so far in the state, the bulletin said 12 are from Mumbai, 10 from Pimpri-Chinchwad (an industrial township in Pune district), two from Pune city, one each from Kalyan-Dombivali, Nagpur, Latur and Vasai-Virar.

Out of these, nine patients have been discharged after returning negative RT-PCR test, the health bulletin added.

In Tamil Nadu, a 47-year-old man who arrived in Tamil Nadu from Nigeria via Doha has tested positive for COVID-19 and is suspected to have "'S-gene drop" indicating Omicron variant of coronavirus, state Health Minister Ma Subramanian said.

Along with his samples, those of his close contacts - mostly relatives - have been sent to a Bengaluru lab for whole-genome sequencing, the minister said.

Under the Centre's new norms, RT-PCR tests are mandatory for passengers arriving from the "at-risk" countries and they can only leave the airport only after the results come.

Passengers coming from 'at-risk' countries to six major Indian airports have to compulsorily pre-book for the on-arrival RT-PCR test from December 20 onwards, the Civil Aviation Ministry said on Tuesday.

However, it clarified that in case a person faces any difficulty in pre-booking the test, the passenger must not be denied boarding.

The six airports are in Delhi, Mumbai Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.

According to the Union health ministry, 'at-risk countries include those in Europe including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Hong Kong, China, Ghana, Mauritius, New Zealand and Israel.

Also, two per cent of the passengers arriving on flights from other countries are being tested randomly.

(With inputs from PTI)

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