Kerala's 1st Omicron patient is a UK returnee, overall tally reaches 38

The Omicron patient of Kerala had tested positive on December 8. The report of his genome sequencing has found the new variant of concern, first identified in South Africa. 
Kerala health minister Veena George confirmed the first Omicron case of the state. 
Kerala health minister Veena George confirmed the first Omicron case of the state. 
Published on Dec 12, 2021 06:58 PM IST
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By | Written by Poulomi Ghosh

Kerala reported its first Covid case of Omicron variant on Sunday taking the overall tally of this new variant to 38. Earlier in the day, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Chandigarh reported fresh cases of this new variant. The Omicron patient of Kerala had tested positive on December 8. He had returned to the state from the UK. The new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 was first identified in South Africa on November 24 and on November 26, the World Health Organization declared that Omicron is a variant of concern. India's first cases of Omicron were confirmed on December 2 in Karnataka. 

“High-risk passengers who were seated next to him have been informed. There is no need to panic. His condition is stable. His wife and mother tested positive for Covid. All of them shifted to the isolation ward. Necessary precautions being taken,” Kerala health minister Veena George said about the first Omicron case in the state. 

Which states have reported Omicron cases so far in India?

Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and now Kerala have reported Omicron cases. Maharashtra has so far the highest number of cases of this variant. 18 Omicron cases have been reported from the state alone.  

Five Omicron cases have been reported on Sunday -- one each in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Chandigarh, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.

International travel and Omicron

Almost all Omicron patients in India have foreign travel history. Amid Omicron concerns, India has put its earlier decision of resuming regular international flights from December 15 on hold. However, there has not been any ban on international travel. Countries have been put on an “at-risk” list so that passengers coming from those countries can be tracked, tested and quarantined. 

Spreading fast, causing mild symptoms

Cases in India and across the world indicate that the variant is spreading faster than Delta but the symptoms are milder. There has been no Omicron death recorded anywhere in the world. Patients have not complained of loss of taste of smell or breathing difficulties, which were the usual symptoms of Covid caused by the earlier variants of the virus.

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