Ramakanta Biswas

Odisha reported the maiden cases of Omicron with two persons testing positive for the new variant of Covid-19, informed Institute of Life Sciences (ILS), Bhubaneswar on Tuesday. 

The presence of Omicron variant of coronavirus was confirmed in two persons following genome sequencing. 

It is learnt that both the affected persons are male and aged 41 and 43 years respectively. While one of them had returned from Nigeria recently, the other arrived from Qatar.

One of them who hails from Jagatsinghpur, is undergoing treatment in Cuttack while other person is a resident of  Khordha. However, there has been no official confirmation about the details of the infected persons so far. 

Speaking to media after the detection of Omicron variant, Public Health Director Niranjan Mishra said, “Since November, 8800 people have returned to Odisha from foreign countries including 1600 from at-risk nations. Covid positive sample of 12 foreign returnees were sent for genome sequencing and two samples came positive for Omicron. Both the affected persons have returned from ‘non at-risk countries'.”

“One of them is asymptomatic. The other person has symptoms like cough. Both are in isolation and their condition is stable. Contact tracing of 21 persons have been done and samples sent for testing,” Mishra added. 

Health expert Niraj Mishra said, “It was expected that the Omicron variant would enter Odisha. However, there is no absolute need to be panic as there is mild symptom in most of the patients of the variant.” 

The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday said 200 cases of Omicron variant of coronavirus have been detected across 12 states and UTs in India so far out of which 77 patients have recovered or migrated.

Maharashtra and Delhi have recorded 54 cases of Omicron variant each, while Telangana registered 20 cases, Karnataka 19, Rajasthan 18, Kerala 15 and Gujarat 14 cases.