India reports two more Omicron cases, total tally reaches 4

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Dec 04, 2021, 03:47 PM(IST)

A healthcare worker collects a Covid test swab sample from a woman at Delhi airport Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The first case was reported from Gujarat, while the second one was from neighbouring Maharashtra state. Both have travel history to southern African countries.  

India reported two more cases of Omicron Covid variant on Saturday, taking the country's total tally of new strain cases to four.

The first case was detected from India's western Gujarat state, where a 72-year-old man tested positive.

A resident of Zimbabwe, he had returned to Jamnagar city on November 28.

The sample of the elderly man was sent for genome sequencing, after he tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, it said.

Gujarat's Commissioner of Health Jai Prakash Shivhare confirmed that the man was found infected with the Omicron strain.

The second case was reported from the neighbouring Maharashtra state in Mumbai city. 

The infected man returned from South Africa to Kalyan Dombivali municipal area near Mumbai, Maharashtra state's health department said.

"On November 24, the passenger reported a mild fever after landing in Mumbai. He had not taken any COVID-19 vaccine. However, no other symptoms were observed. This mildly symptomatic patient is being treated at the Covid Care Centre in Kalyan-Dombivali," a government statement said.

Watch | India details plan to combat omicron threat

Earlier on Thursday, two people—a 66-year-old South African national and an India doctor—tested positive for the new strain in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

While the foreigner escaped from India, the doctor is under quarantine at his home.

Also read | Omicron: How well-prepared is India to tackle a possible spread of new Covid variant?

Meanwhile, India reported 8,603 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, taking the total to 34.62 million. Deaths rose by 415 to 470,530.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month asked officials to focus on countries identified at risk, after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the new variant to be "of concern".

Up to 84% have received at least one dose, with more than 125 million people due for a second shot.

Also read | Omicron variant highly transmissible, could become dominant, says WHO's top scientist

The WHO said Omicron, initially detected in South Africa, may spread more quickly than other forms of the virus.

India expects the Omicron variant to cause less severe illness, due to rising vaccination rates and high prior exposure to the Delta variant that infected nearly 70% of the population by July.

Also read | Omicron in India: Don't need fear, says health ministry as first 2 cases found; one patient fully vaccinated

The WHO has said it had not seen any reports of deaths relating to the new Omicron variant.

The WHO said it was collecting evidence about the variant of concern (VOC), as countries around the world scramble to stop it from spreading.

But despite a growing number of countries registering infections with the new variant, no deaths have yet been reported to the UN health agency.

(With inputs from agencies)

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