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India reports first two Omicron cases

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NEW DELHI, Dec 2: Indian government sources announced on Thursday that two Omicron cases were detected in the country for the first time. Two men aged 46 and 66 were diagnosed with the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in southern Indian state of Karnataka, Joint Secretary of Indian Health and Family Welfare Ministry Lav Agrawal said in a press conference.

People line up to register their names to receive COVID-19 vaccine in Hyderabad, India, Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.)

The ministry added that all primary and secondary contacts of both the cases have been traced and are being tested, adding that both the cases reported are mild in nature and haven’t shown any severe symptoms. According to sources, the 66-year-old man travelled from South Africa on November 20 with a negative Covid report. The patient who has received both vaccine doses was asked to isolate after he tested positive on arrival. Officials have collected samples from 24 primary and 240 secondary contacts of the patient and the test results were negative. The 46 year old patient is a health worker from Bengaluru city and developed COVID-19 symptoms on November 21. After testing positive the following day he was admitted to hospital.

In wake of the Omicron scare, the health authorities in the country have intensified screening and testing at international airports across the country. The health ministry has issued guidelines asking to test all passengers arriving from ‘at risk’ countries including European nations and South Africa, where the Omicron was first detected. Only those passengers who have a negative report after COVID-19 tests on arrival can leave the airports. The health ministry also asked to not panic but at the same time ordered to take all precautions including social distancing, wearing mask and follow COVID-19 appropriate behavior. (KUNA)

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