Himachal reports first Omicron case in patient who returned from Canada
Himachal Pradesh on Sunday reported its first case of the highly transmissible Omicron variant of the coronavirus, which has now spread to as many as 19 states and Union territories in India.
According to the state's health department, the Omicron variant was reported in a person who recently came back from Canada. Although the patient's latest RT-PCR has now come back negative, the Himachal administration has conducted contact tracing to ensure there are no additional cases of the infectious strain.
“Himachal Pradesh reports the first case of Omicron. The patient's latest RT-PCR is negative and her three close contacts have also tested negative,” the health department said in a statement.
In its daily coronavirus disease (Covid-19) briefing, the Union ministry of health and family welfare informed on Sunday morning that there are as many as 422 cases of the Omicron variant in the country, so far, spread across 17 states and Union territories.
However, since then, three states have reported cases of the Omicron variant. Madhya Pradesh registered eight cases—its first such infections—and Odisha added four more taking the nationwide tally to 435.
Of the eight patients, who tested positive for Omicron in Madhya Pradesh, six have already recovered and were discharged while two are presently undergoing treatment.
In Odisha, the four who got infected with the Omicron variant had returned to the state from foreign countries; two from Nigeria and two from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
All foreign returnees from "at-risk" as well as other countries are being tested in most states, and the samples of those found positive for Covid-19 are being sent for genome sequencing.
According to the official data, as shared by the health ministry, Maharashtra (108) has reported the highest number of Omicron infections in the country, followed by Delhi (79), Gujarat (43), Telangana (41), Kerala (38), Tamil Nadu (34), Karnataka (31), and Rajasthan (22).