1st Omicron case in Delhi is Tanzania-returnee; new variant cases now 5 in India

Published on Dec 05, 2021 11:37 AM IST

The patient has returned from Tanzania and is now admitted to the LNJP hospital, Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain said.

Delhi reported its first Omicron case on Sunday. (ANI)
Delhi reported its first Omicron case on Sunday. (ANI)
By | Written by Poulomi Ghosh

Delhi has confirmed its first Omicron case on Sunday, taking the number of confirmed cases of this new variant of Covid in the country to five. The patient has returned from Tanzania and is now admitted to the LNJP hospital, Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain said. Around 17 passengers who have reached Delhi in the past few days from foreign "at risk" locations are admitted to the government's LNJP hospital after they tested Covid positive. Their samples have been sent for genome sequencing.

Til Saturday evening, there were 13 international travellers, suspected to be infected with Omicron, were admitted to a separate isolation ward at Lok Nayak hospital. Among them, the Tanzania returnee was the only person from Africa and the others are from Europe and the US, officials confirmed. 

LNJP hospital has been designated for the treatment of the Omicron variant, though this is the first case in the Capital. The patient has a sore throat, weakness and body ache, the common symptoms reported so far in the Omicron cases. 

Omicron cases in India: What their age, travel and vaccination history reveal

Delhi is the third location to have identified the new variant, first found in South Africa. The first two Omicron cases were reported from Bengaluru, while the third was from Gujarat's Jamnagar and the fourth was from Mumbai.

Except for the 46-year-old Bengaluru doctor who was found infected with this new variant of the coronavirus, all four cases reported from India are linked with international travel. The first confirmed Omicron case was a South African national who has returned to his country after testing negative. The Omicron case in Mumbai is an unvaccinated marine engineer who came to Mumbai from South Africa. The Gujarat Omicron case is an NRI who has been living in Zimbabwe for many years.

The variant is believed to be more transmissible than Delta, though based on available studies and cases, scientists believe that Omicron cases are moderate with almost no symptoms or mild flu-like symptoms.

Major cities are at a greater risk of Omicron as international passengers remain the primary source of this variant. Director of Tata Institute for Genetics and Society and former Chief of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Centre For Cellular And Molecular Biology, Dr Rakesh Mishra has said the variant will affect major cities because of the travelling involved, though vaccine will offer protection.


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