As many as three primary contacts and two secondary contacts of the 46-year-old Karnataka man who was found infected with the Omicron variant, have also tested positive for the COVID-19 and their samples have been sent for further genome sequencing, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) said on Thursday.
The BBMP has informed that their samples have been sent for genome sequencing and the results are awaited.
Union Health Ministry on Thursday said that two cases of Omicron variant of COVID-19 have been reported in the country so far. According to a statement issued by the BBMP, one of the two patients is a 66-year-old male while the other is a 46-year-old male. The former had returned from South Africa, via Dubai, and was fully vaccinated.
“There were 24 primary contacts of the 66-year-old male. All are asymptomatic, tested and reported negative for the COVID-19,” the Bengaluru Municipal Corporation said. “As many as 13 primary contacts and 205 secondary contacts of the 46-year-old male were tested. Out of which, three primary contacts and two secondary contacts have tested positive between November 22 and 25. They all have been isolated. Their samples have been sent for genome sequencing, results are awaited,” it said.
The new COVID-19 variant was first reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) from South Africa on November 25. As per the WHO, the first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on November 9 this year.
On November 26, the WHO named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa, as ‘Omicron’. The WHO has classified Omicron as a ‘variant of concern’.
Dozens of countries have imposed travel restrictions on the southern African nations since the mutation was discovered. The new Omicron coronavirus variant has been confirmed in 23 countries and their number is expected to rise, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had said.
India has also added several countries to the list from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in the country, including post-arrival testing for infection.