Kochi: The number of cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus in Kerala has reached seven after two fresh cases were confirmed on Friday.
Health Minister Veena George said that the latest cases were detected in a 68-year-old man and his wife, 67, who arrived in Kochi from the UAE on December 8.
The duo had landed from Sharjah. Minister George said that as UAE is not part of the high-risk countries, they were asked to be in isolation.
They conducted RT-PCR tests on December 11 and 12 after showing symptoms of COVID-19. Later, their samples were sent for genome sequencing and the results have now been confirmed with the latest variant.
The man has six primary contacts while there is one person in the woman's contact list. There are 54 passengers on the flight. "Those who maintained contact with the passengers are being tested," said Veena George.
Of the seven active cases of Omicron in Kerala, three, including the latest two, came from non-high-risk countries.
The government has urged the arrivals from non-high-risk countries to maintain strict self-observation for 14 days. "They should refrain from visiting public places and crowded areas," the minister said.