Andhra reports first case of Omicron


Andhra Pradesh on Sunday reported its first case of Omicron, the new variant of coronavirus.

A 34-year-old man, who returned from Ireland late last month, tested positive for the new variant, health officials said.

The man from Vijayanagaram district had come to Visakhapatnam via Mumbai on November 27. He had tested negative for the coronavirus in an RT-PCR test conducted at the Mumbai airport.

However, after the mandatory 14-day home quarantine in Vijayanagaram, he was subjected to another RT-PCR test which turned out to be positive.

The man, who was asymptomatic, was kept in isolation and sent his samples to Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad for genome sequencing. The genome sequencing report received on Sunday revealed that he is infected by Omicron.

With the first case in Andhra Pradesh, India’s Omicron tally has gone up to 34. Maharashtra has reported the highest number of cases at 17. Delhi, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Karnataka have also reported cases of the new variant.

Director of public health and family welfare, Andhra Pradesh, Dr G. Hymavathi said a total of 15 foreign returnees tested positive for Covid-19.

Samples of all the 15 were sent for genome sequencing. She said genome sequencing reports of 10 of them had been received and one of them tested positive for Omicron.

The director of public health advised people not to panic and believe in any rumours. She said people should continue to take all Covid-19 precautions like wearing masks, frequent hand washing and maintaining social distance.

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