Four more cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus have been detected in Odisha, taking the total number of infected to eight on Sunday.
The detection of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 has been reported to the State Health Department by the Institute of Life Sciences (ILS) in Bhubaneswar which is conducting the genome sequencing of the positive cases of coronavirus infection.
Health department officials said that out of the total four foreign returnees, who have tested positive for the Omicron variant, two each have a travel history to Nigeria and UAE.
Of the total four new cases, one person has already tested negative. There is no need to panic as the condition of all the four is stable.
Director of Health Services Bijay Mohapatras said that as per the State government directions, all the foreign returnees from at risk as well as other countries are being tested and those who will test positive, their samples will be sent for genome sequencing.
“As Omicron cases are rising in different parts of the country as well, we are testing all foreign returnees from 'at risk' and other countries as well,” said Mohapatra. According to Mohapatra, the district administrations have been instructed to keep surveillance in their respective jurisdiction. Already the government has asked to send positive RT-PCR samples to ILS for genome sequencing.
It is pertinent to mention here that Odisha had first reported two cases of Omicron on December 21. The duo had returned from Nigeria and Qatar respectively.
The Omicron tally in the State subsequently jumped to four after the detection of two more cases on December 23. As per health officials, two children, aged 11 and 15, who had returned to Khordha from Nigeria were diagnosed with the new variant of coronavirus. The children had mild symptoms and they were admitted to SUM Covid hospital in Bhubaneswar.