CM Nitish Kumar among 40 new Omicron cases recorded in Bihar

Patna accounted for 55% (22) of the 40 cases of Omicron on Tuesday. Muzaffarpur reported five, followed by Gaya three; Jamui, Khagaria and Munger two each. Samastipur, Saran, Sitamarhi and Bhagalpur had one each, said officials aware of the development.
Prior to testing positive, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar had attended the national conference of the Indian Medical Association, attended by nearly 5,000 guests in Patna on December 28. He also undertook inter-district tours as part of his Samaj Sudhar Abhiyan and held his weekly janata durbars to hear public grievances, which were subsequently put on hold. (ANI PHOTO.)
Prior to testing positive, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar had attended the national conference of the Indian Medical Association, attended by nearly 5,000 guests in Patna on December 28. He also undertook inter-district tours as part of his Samaj Sudhar Abhiyan and held his weekly janata durbars to hear public grievances, which were subsequently put on hold. (ANI PHOTO.)
Updated on Jan 18, 2022 09:16 PM IST
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Omicron has emerged as the predominant strain of coronavirus in Bihar after all 40 Covid-19 samples, including that of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, tested positive for the ‘variant of concern’ during the second round of genome sequencing test at the Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS) on Tuesday. Bihar reported, 4,551 new Covid-19 cases, down from 5,410 on Sunday, taking the total count of active cases to 33,883, officials said.

The total number of Omicron cases in the state has now gone up to 67 after the strain was detected in 27 (85%) of the 32 Covid-19 samples tested on January 9. Four samples (12%) were then found to have the Delta variant while one was of an insignificant variant, which remained unknown, IGIMS director Dr NR Biswas had then said.

Patna accounted for 55% (22) of the 40 cases of Omicron on Tuesday. Muzaffarpur reported five, followed by Gaya three; Jamui, Khagaria and Munger two each. Samastipur, Saran, Sitamarhi and Bhagalpur had one each, said officials aware of the development.

Omicron was detected in the samples of a Patna high court judge, an additional chief secretary rank officer, director of an autonomous medical college hospital as well as its principal, among others, said a second official.

The samples were collected between January 1 and 11, the last being of the chief minister after his office tweeted on January 10 that Kumar had tested positive for Covid-19.

Prior to testing positive, Kumar had attended the national conference of the Indian Medical Association, attended by nearly 5,000 guests in Patna on December 28. He also undertook inter-district tours as part of his Samaj Sudhar Abhiyan and attended his weekly janata durbars to hear public grievances, which were subsequently put on hold.

“Omicron has emerged as the predominant strain of Covid-19 in Bihar. There is definitely a declining trend in the number of new Covid-19 cases, but it is too early to conclude anything at this stage. We are keeping a close watch on the situation. Vaccination and following Covid-appropriate behaviour are the key to slowing down the spread of the virus,” said Pratyaya Amrit, Bihar’s additional chief secretary, health, while addressing a presser later in the evening.

The state had logged over 6,300 daily new infections between January 11 and 15. Cases in Patna had also come down from 2,275 on January 12 to 1,218 on Tuesday.

“The state’s test positivity rate has also declined from 3.67 on January 14 to 2.94% on Tuesday,” said Amrit.

He said the R (reproductive) factor, which was the number of people being infected by a Covid-19 positive patient, had also come down from 4 to less than 2 in the country.

“Testing is being done as per government of India guidelines. The test positivity rate is always a better indicator than the number of tests being done,” said Amrit in response to a query on the decrease in the number of tests to around 1.55 lakh a day.

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    Ruchir writes on health, aviation, power and myriad other issues. An ex-TOI, he has worked both on Desk and in reporting. He over 25 years of broadcast and print journalism experience in Assam, Jharkhand & Bihar.

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Sunday, May 22, 2022