Man from Nigeria who arrived in Chennai is TN’s first Omicron patient

Published on Dec 16, 2021 12:03 AM IST

Seven of the patient’s family members, including a 16-year-old and one co-passenger who travelled with him from Doha have all tested positive for Covid-19. Their samples were sent for genome testing and results are awaited.

The four international airports in Tamil Nadu are conducting RT-PCR tests for passengers from high-risk countries on arrival. (AFP PHOTO.)
The four international airports in Tamil Nadu are conducting RT-PCR tests for passengers from high-risk countries on arrival. (AFP PHOTO.)

Tamil Nadu’s first patient who tested positive for the Omicron variant is a 47-year-old man, who has travelled from Nigeria via Doha to Chennai.

“He was double vaccinated and he is stable,” health minister M Subramanian told the media.

Seven of the patient’s family members, including a 16-year-old and one co-passenger who travelled with him from Doha have all tested positive for Covid-19. Their samples were sent for genome testing and results are awaited. “All eight of them have shown S Gene drop. All of them have a mild infection,” Subramanian said. The co-passenger is a resident of Chennai. They are being treated at Chennai’s King Institute. “There is an apprehension that all eight of them could have Omicron,” said.

Tamil Nadu has made elaborate arrangements for surveillance of the Omicron variant. On November 29, the state decided to use Thermo Fischer TaqPath Assay at 12 RT-PCR government labs to detect the S gene drop, which is a marker of probable Omicron infection as per the recommendations of the WHO.

The four international airports in Tamil Nadu are conducting RT-PCR tests for passengers from high-risk countries on arrival. They cannot leave the airport until the results are released so airports have been asked to make arrangements for the comfort of passengers. If they are positive, they will be sent to government hospitals and if they test negative, they have to quarantine at home for a week and repeat the RT-PCR test on the eighth day. The samples will be sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune for genome sequencing.

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