India takes early precautions as more nations report Omicron new ‘variant of concern’

Prime News, National (New Delhi), Nov 30:- India has not reported any case of the Omicron variant of coronavirus yet but Centre, states are taking early precautions as cases with new mutations arise in other nations. From RT-PCR tests, isolation to genome sequencing, efforts are being ramped up across the country to keep Omicron variant at bay. The WHO said it is “not yet clear” if the newly-detected variant is more transmissible or causes more severe disease, but countries are taking act-first-question-later-approach to deal with the new variant.

Omicron scare | How India is acting

  • The Karnataka health minister Monday said the sample of one of the two recent South Africa returnees appears “different from the Delta variant”, even as experts stressed vaccines remain a critical tool.
  • Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said the situation is being closely monitored in consultation with other ministries regarding “any further decision” on resuming scheduled international passenger services. A senior Central government official said in Delhi no case of the new variant has been detected in the country, but results of genomic analysis of positive samples of international travellers are being expedited.
  • In Maharashtra’s Thane, a 32-year-old Merchant Navy engineer who tested positive for coronavirus after returning from South Africa has been kept in isolation and his sample sent for genome sequencing.
  • The result will be known after seven days, Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation’s (KDMC) epidemic control officer Dr Pratibha Panpatil said.
  • Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said, “Information on passengers coming from abroad should be received regularly so that they can be monitored and the infection can be prevented in time.”
  • In Delhi, authorities ordered RT-PCR testing for all people arriving from ‘high-risk’ countries, genome sequencing of the positive cases and mandatory isolation.
  • Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia told the media the new ‘Omicron’ variant was discussed by experts in the meeting and it was stressed that there should be no relaxation in preparation to deal with Covid infections and in monitoring the situation.
  • In Madhya Pradesh’s Jabalpur, health authorities have launched a search for a woman from Bostwana, named Khuno Oremeet Selyn, who visited the city on November 18.
  • Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar, meanwhile, said the sample of one of the two persons who arrived in Bengaluru recently from South Africa appears “different from the Delta variant”, the currently dominant strain.
  • “There is a 63-year-old man whose name I should not disclose. His report is a bit different. It appears different from the delta variant. We will discuss with the ICMR officials and will let people know by the evening what it is,” the minister said.
  • Experts Monday said the Omicron variant carries “concerning” mutations that may make it more transmissible and allow it to evade immunity, but stressed vaccines are still a critical tool.(MR, Inputs: Agencies).

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