Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Bengal report 1st cases of Omicron, tally above 60
Tamil Nadu, Telangana and West Bengal reported the first cases of Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 virus on Wednesday taking the total number of Omicron cases in the country over 60. Maharashtra, which has the highest number of Omicron cases, reported four new cases on Wednesday. Of the four patients, one is a woman and three are men - all between the age group of 16 years and 67 years.
West Bengal on Wednesday reported the first Omicron case after a seven-year-old boy, resident of Murshidabad district, tested positive for the new coronavirus variant. The boy, the official said, recently returned to Bengal from Abu Dhabi via Hyderabad. He left for a relative's place in Malda from Kolkata airport.
Tamil Nadu also reported the first case of Omicron on Wednesday evening, a day after a traveller from Nigerian was suspected to have the variant.
Telangana reported the first two cases of Omicron after a Kenyan national and a Somali national who landed in Hyderabad on December 12 tested positive for the new variant.
Kerala too reported four new cases of this new variant.
Here is the statewise tally of Omicron cases on Wednesday evening
Andhra Pradesh: 1
West Bengal: 1
Tamil Nadu: 1
To detect the new variant of Coronavirus, samples are being sent for genome-sequencing and hence the reports of the new cases are coming as and when the reports of the genome sequencing are out, without suggesting anything concrete regarding the spread of the variant.
Omicron, believed to be more transmissible than Delta, was first detected in South Africa on November 24. On November 26, the World Health Organization identified Omicron as a variant of concern. The first Omicron case in India was detected on December 2 in Karnataka.
The emergence of this new variant put the brakes on India's plan to resume regular international passenger flights. The Centre has now made compulsory pre-booking of RT-PCR tests starting from December 20 for passengers coming from "at-risk" countries to six major Indian airports, including Delhi, Mumbai Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.