#OmicronAlert: Maharashtra records 1st case of new COVID-19 variant


A 33-year-old person, who recently returned from South Africa, tested positive for the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron,  Maharashtra Health Department informed.

The person is from Kalyan-Dombivli. This is the first case of the variant in Maharashtra and the fourth in the country. Earlier, two cases of Omicron were reported in Karnataka and one in Gujarat.

The passenger arrived in Mumbai on November 24 from Capetown, South Africa through Dubai and Delhi. He has not taken any vaccine. 12 of his high-risk contacts and 23 of the low-risk contacts have been traced and all have been tested negative for COVID-19, the state health department informed.

“Additionally, 25 of the co-passengers from the Delhi-Mumbai flight have also been tested negative. More contacts are currently being traced,” it added.

Earlier today, Gujarat Health Department confirmed the state’s first case of Omicron, reported in Jamnagar. “A person who came from Zimbabwe was infected with the variant. His sample has been sent to Pune,” the state health department informed.

A new variant of COVID-19 was first reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) from South Africa on November 25. As per the WHO, the first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on November 9 this year. On November 26, the WHO named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa, as ‘Omicron’. The WHO has classified Omicron as a ‘variant of concern’.

Dozens of countries have imposed travel restrictions on the southern African nations since the mutation was discovered. India has also added several countries to the list from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in the country, including post-arrival testing for infection.


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