Omicron crisis: 12 foreign returnees untraceable in Thane's Kalyan Dombivli area
As many as 12 of over 300 recent foreign returnees are untraceable in Maharashtra’s Thane district, an official said amid rising concerns over the spread of the new highly transmissible coronavirus variant, Omicron.
Maharashtra has, so far, reported 10 cases of the new strain, the highest in the country. On Tuesday, officials of Thane district’s Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) said at least 12 people of the 318 passengers who returned from abroad are missing.
Civic body chief Vijay Sooryavanshi said a search operation is on to locate them. "Some of the passengers who returned cannot be reached as their mobile phones are switched off, while the addresses that the others gave are locked up," he said.
The KDMC chief said a team from the health department would again visit the given addresses.
Similar reports of foreign returnees have been reported from other states, including Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, in the past few days.
The new variant of COVID-19 was first reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) from South Africa on November 25. The global health body said 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' and classified it as a 'variant of concern'.
(With inputs from agencies)
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