Omicron reaches India, two cases detected in Karnataka

New Delhi, December 03 (KMS): Two persons in the Indian state of Karnataka have tested positive for Omicron, the newest variant of Covid-19, after genome sequencing.

Balram Bhargava, Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), said two cases of Omircron have been detected in Karnataka so far through genome sequencing effort of Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG), a consortium of 37 laboratories established by the Ministry of Health. “We need not panic, but awareness is absolutely essential. Covid appropriate behaviour is required,” he added.

The contacts of the duo who tested positive for the latest variant have been identified and are under monitoring, he said.

“All Omicron related cases are found to have mild symptoms so far. No severe symptoms have been noticed in all such cases, both in the country and abroad. The WHO has said that the virus’ emerging evidence is being studied,” said Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Indian Health Ministry, adding that around 29 countries across the world have reported 373 cases of Omicron so far.

Addressing a press conference on the ongoing Covid situation, Agrawal said a surge in cases is being observed across the world, with Europe alone reporting 70 per cent of the cases in the past one week.